India’s stand-in captain Shikhar Dhawan was really proud of his boys for showing great character in the last two matches against Sri Lanka. The visitors lost the final T20I by seven wickets on Thursday and thus also lost the series by 2-1 but the young team fought hard.
In fact, India had the option of pulling out of the tour after Krunal Pandya was tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday. As many as nine players were identified as close contacts with the all-rounder and had to isolate themselves as they were not allowed entry into the stadium despite testing negative for Covid-19 because of the protocols which are in place.
Thus, India had to play all the 11 players who were available in the squad in the second T20I. Furthermore, as Navdeep Saini suffered a shoulder injury, Sandeep Warrier, who was part of the Net bowlers list, made his T20I debut in the final game.
Ergo, India had to play with a depleted team in the last two T20Is but they decided to take part in the final game despite adversities. In fact, India played with only five batsmen in the last two matches and the young batting unit could not grab their chances as they managed 132 and 81 runs in both the games.
Shikhar Dhawan said in the post-match presentation, “It was a difficult situation for us. As a team we decided to stay and play these games. Really proud of the boys as well. They showed great character in the last two games. Their attitude was tremendous. We wanted to win as well, in every game you learn. It was an off-day for our batting unit. We lost too many wickets, SL bowled well. When you lose early wickets, you get a lot of pressure, glad that we got to the 80s, that’s all we managed today. Both teams played in great spirit. It’s beautiful that we were competitive in the field and respect was there. The Sri Lankan boys wanted to know my process, I was just sharing my experience. I hope they enjoyed listening to it. And, congratulations to the Sri Lankan team”.
The tourists showed great heart in the final two matches and they will be proud of their performance despite the lack of resources as they would have taken a lot of lessons. India’s main team will now take on England in the five-match Test series.