India’s veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan reckons that a below-par performance in the powerplays cost India the tri-series opener against Sri Lanka. He also credited Kusal Perera for taking the game away from the visitors with a blazing knock.
Men in blue lost the Nidahas Trophy opener by five wickets with Perera putting the inexperienced bowling attack with the sword during his 37-ball 66. India had managed to reach a mere score of 40 for 2 in the first power play after being reduced to 9 for 2 in two overs. On the other hand, Sri Lanka posted 75 for two in the first six overs. Perera smashed 27 runs off Shardul Thakur in the second over with the help of five fours and a six.
Talking about the lost game, Shikhar said, “It was in the first six overs that they took the game away from us. After the first six overs even they weren’t hitting the ball that frequently – it wasn’t like 10 an over against the spinners in the middle overs. That’s because the wicket was a little slow.”
Dhawan heaped praise on Perera, he said, “The way Kushal scored that 27 runs in that over, they were 75 after six overs, that made the difference. They took two wickets in the first two overs and that did the damage. We could have been more aggressive if we wouldn’t have lost wickets. We had to ensure we don’t lose any more wickets and also score runs.”
He further added, “We were 10 runs short after six overs but I felt 174 was a good score but Kushal Perera took the game away by playing an amazing knock.”
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Talking about his own game, Shikhar said: “I have been playing very aggressive at the start, I know my game and that’s how I have been playing. I have been scoring runs at a quick pace. I was disappointed that I couldn’t score a century but at that time the team wanted to go after bowling, so I didn’t care if I get the century or not. I am happy my consistency is going very good and I am enjoying it.”
Man-of-the-match Perera also felt that Sri Lanka’s power-hitting during the powerplay made all the difference. He said, “We had to attack in the first six overs. As the target was 175, we needed some momentum. When you get that kind of start, it is easier for the innings to progress smoothly, but you don’t get that kind of start every game. The first six overs had a great impact on the match.”