Despite all the circumstances that forced the Indians to go into the last two matches short of batsmen, they will be disappointed to lose the T20I rubber 2-1 against Sri Lanka.
They went into these matches with a super defensive attitude, suggesting they had already given up on their chances. Some of the players like Sanju Samson, Nitish Rana, Devdutt Padikkal and Ruturaj Gaikwad… frankly speaking, they got exposed a bit.
They didn’t look like IPL superstars at all. They were too defensive for their age, even though one would admit that the pitches in Sri Lanka weren’t exactly favourable to batsmen. Sri Lankan bowlers, particularly the spinners, took the wind out of their sails by all means. All the four names mentioned above failed to read the spin - whether it was going away or heading into the pads or it was keeping straight. They were totally clueless, which was embarrassing to see.
Samson particularly disappointing. It’s been a long time since we all have been going gaga over him, that he is hugely talented, that he could be the next big batsman in India, that he is better than Rishabh Pant, and what not! Sadly, he looked like a below-average batsman in Sri Lanka on most occasions. The series is a big blow to his reputation and now it will take some massive improvement for him to get back into the reckoning.
Shikhar Dhawan and Rahul Dravid should take the blame, mostly for going out there with a defensive mindset. Dhawan was the most senior player in the side and he should have taken the bull by its horns right from the outset. In all three matches, he did look overly defensive and it rubbed off on the young batsmen in the side as it were. The series was for important for him to get back into the T20I frame ahead of the World T20. However, on the evidence of his performances, his chances of making the squad appear to have taken a severe beating, particularly with the rise of Suryakumar Yadav and Prithvi Shaw.
Dravid, with all due respect, failed to inspire the team alongside Dhawan. It’s not the defeats, it’s the manner in which they have lost the last two contests, the third T20I in particular, against an inexperienced Sri Lankan side that shows the former India batsman in a disagreeable light.
When all is said and done, India were unfortunate to lose several players after Krunal Pandya tested positive for the novel coronavirus ahead of the second game but they could have played with some spirit without thinking too much about results.
Instead, they were timid in their approach and brought the team’s stock down to a significant extent. Several scales fell undoubtedly from our eyes in regard to the potency of some of these up-and-coming players. The Sri Lanka series has brought their inadequacies to light and one can safely say they are not as good as they have been made out to be in the last couple of years.