Muttiah Muralitharan, a former Sri Lanka legendary spinner termed the six in the penultimate over as the moment where the course of the 2nd T20I changed in favour of the hosts. Chamika Karunaratne dispatched a full toss beyond the boundary ropes to change the equation drastically.
Muttiah Muralitharan noted that India had not posted enough runs on the board, but lauded the fight put up by the visitors. Muttiah Muralitharan added that had Sri Lanka required 14 or 15 runs in the final over, it would have been very difficult to obtain.
“Yeah, definitely because the total was not enough. 132 was not a par score, but India gave a very good fight because it looked at one time we’ll win the match, but Dhananjaya played well and Karunaratne came and that six he hit off the full toss changed the course of the match and changed the equation.
“So, if we had 14-15 to chase in the last over, it would have been difficult for Sri Lanka,” Muralidaran said while speaking to ESPN Cricinfo after the match.
India could only play with five batsmen, with the majority of the contingent being in isolation with Krunal Pandya having contracted the virus. With eight close contacts being off the series, India only had five batsmen in the playing eleven that included three debutants.
India named 4 T20I debutants in Nitish Rana, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Chetan Sakariya for the 2nd T20I match. Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Krishnappa Gowtham, Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Shikhar Dhawan were the close contacts of Krunal Pandya all of whom barring skipper Shikhar Dhawan weren’t allowed to take the field.
Muttiah Muralitharan: India Was Depleted Due To Covid-19
According to Muttiah Muralitharan, this made a huge impact in the match, as despite the slow nature of the track, they could only post 132. Shikhar Dhawan donned the role of the anchor while Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devdutt Padikkal chipped in with valuable cameos. However, it was the frail middle order that cost India, as they fell flat in the death overs flourish.
“I think India was depleted due to COVID and they only played with 5 batsmen and no all-rounders at all. That made them very difficult to set a decent total for Sri Lanka. Bowling wise, they had decent bowlers and only used five bowlers and did not use the fast bowler because the wicket was on the slower side,’ Muralidaran added
The third T20I which also marks the final game of the tour will be contested tomorrow (July 29) at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Team India might have to turn towards their net bowlers to replace the injured Navdeep Saini.
Dasun Shanaka’s Sri Lanka defeated Shikhar Dhawan-led India by 4 wickets to level the three-match series. Dhananjaya de Silva scored 40 not out off 34 balls while wicketkeeper-batsman Minod Bhanuka smashed 36 off 31 deliveries to help the hosts chase the 133-run target with 2 balls to spare.
Kuldeep Yadav returned with the figures of 2 for 30. Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bowl. Indian captain Shikhar Dhawan top-scored with a 42-ball 40 as India posted 132 for 5. Ruturaj Gaikwad scored 21 off 18 balls while Devdutt Padikkal contributed with a 23-ball 29.