India’s stand-in captain Shikhar Dhawan feels the young Indian players are growing in confidence after playing in the Indian Premier League, where they get the opportunity to play with and against one of the best in the business.
The same was palpable in the first ODI against Sri Lanka at R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, Colombo when they decimated the hosts by seven wickets on Sunday.
Indian bowlers were able to restrict Sri Lanka to an under-par score of 262-9 after Dasun Shanaka won the toss and decided to bat first. Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav were able to scalp two wickets each as none of the Sri Lankan batsmen were able to cross the 50-run mark.
On the other hand, the Indian batsmen came up with a superb performance as they were able to chase down the target with seven wickets and 80 balls to spare. Prithvi Shaw scored a blistering knock of 43 runs off just 24 balls whereas Ishan Kishan made a fine ODI debut as he smacked 59 runs from 42 balls.
Shikhar Dhawan played a captain’s knock as he scored an unbeaten knock of 86 runs to take his team over the line in the first game of the series.
Shikhar Dhawan said in the post-match presentation, “All our boys, most of them have played earlier. They’re very mature. Very happy with the way they played. Knew that wicket has a bit of turn but the way our spinners bowled from 10th over, they got us back straightaway. All three spinners. When we batted, it was great to watch from the other end. Great strength to have them. The way the young boys play IPL, get so much exposure, their confidence level is very high. The way Prithvi and Ishan batted, they finished the game in the first 15 overs. I thought about it (his hundred) but there were not many runs left. So the focus was on remaining not out. Even when Surya came in and batted, it looked so easy. I was like maybe I have to improve my skill”.
The Indian team has shown its depth and the young players are grabbing their opportunities at the top level, which is a great sign for the team. The second ODI will be played at the same venue on Tuesday.