India v Sri Lanka, 2nd T20I: 5 Talking Points

Shikhar Dhawan India Sri Lanka T20I Ranchi
Dhawan's fifty helped India set a big total on board (Image courtesy: BCCI)

Indian bowlers did not give Sri Lanka a sniff of a win after putting in an excellent displayIn the first T20I, the inexperienced Sri Lankan bowlers surprised everyone with their dominating performance. The Indian batsmen lacked a certain amount of maturity as they failed to be patient on a green top and gave away their wickets easily.MS Dhoni would have been looking for a strong response from his batsmen and get back into the series to level it at his home ground.The batsmen did just that as all the batsmen in the top five crossed scores of 25 helping India to a big score of 196 in 20 overs. Thisara Perera's hat-trick in the 19th over was the major positive from the Sri Lankan bowling innings.Indian bowlers put pressure on the Sri Lankan batsmen from the very first ball and picked wickets at regular intervals and kept it tight to give India a series-levelling win.Here are the major talking points from the second T20I:

#1 Shikhar Dhawan\'s attacking innings

Shikhar Dhawan India Sri Lanka T20I Ranchi
Dhawan's fifty helped India set a big total on board (Image courtesy: BCCI)

Before the second T20I, Shikhar Dhawan had a top score of 42 in T20Is. However, that changed in the T20I in Ranchi as Dhawan played a very attacking innings and smashed the Sri Lankan bowlers all around the ground to get his maiden T20I fifty.

His 51 off 25 balls set the tone for the Indian innings and allowed the other batsmen to just build on the foundation set by Dhawan. Rohit Sharma, who usually is the enforcer in the powerplay, was only playing second fiddle to what was a brilliant display of attacking cricket by Dhawan.

India will hope for more such starts from Dhawan as India getting off to a flying start could help put on a competitive total or set the tone for a chase.

#2 Does Hardik Pandya need to bat up the order?

Hardik Pandya India Sri Lanka T20I 2016
Pandya made full use of his batting opportunity (Image courtesy: BCCI)

India continued their experiments with the batting lineup as Dhoni sent in Suresh Raina to bat at No. 4. However, the more interesting move from the Indian captain was the one to send all-rounder Hardik Pandya to bat at No. 5 ahead of Yuvraj Singh and Dhoni himself.

With just 5.4 overs left, it seemed like the right move as the 22-year-old played a useful knock of 27 off just 12 balls, hitting one four and two sixes. His 59-run partnership with Raina was very crucial in helping India reach a total of 196.

Pandya, who considers himself a batting all-rounder, will be happy with the batting time he got in the middle today and will be hoping that this is a sign of things to come as Pandya's power hitting late on could boost India's chances to post big scores.

#3 Sri Lankan top order batting

Tillakaratne Dilshan MS Dhoni India Sri Lanka 2016
Dhoni gets the experienced and dangerous Dilshan out early with quick hands (Image courtesy: BCCI)

Like in the first T20I, the Sri Lankan openers failed to ease the pressure on the middle-order as the visitors lost quick wickets and were in trouble at 16/3 in 3.2 overs. Despite bringing in the experienced Tillakaratne Dilshan for Niroshan Dickwella, Sri Lanka found themselves relying on the middle-order to save them from trouble.

However, the total set by India was too much for the Sri Lankan middle-order as they were restricted by the Indian bowling. Dinesh Chandimal and Chamara Kapugedera played brilliant knocks in the previous game to avoid any hiccups in the chase of a mediocre total. In the second match, however, both batsmen fell after getting starts due to the pressure of having to go for the big shots.

Sri Lankan openers will have to step up and perform well in the third and final T20I if the visitors are to cause an upset in Vishakapatnam.

#4 Dominating display from Indian bowlers

Jasprit Bumrah India Sri Lanka T20I 2016
Bumrah has been one of the finds of the season for India (Image courtesy: BCCI)

The Indian bowlers did not have much to bowl at in the first T20I as they had to try and defend a very low total. In the second T20I, the Indian bowlers made sure they did not match the Sri Lankan bowling and kept a very tight line and length from the start of the bowling innings.

Dhoni's move to make Ashwin bowl the first over turned out to be a brilliant one as the bowler sent back the dangerous Dilshan in the very first over. Nehra continued adding pressure from the other end and picked up two early wickets to send Sri Lanka tottering.

Jadeja and Bumrah picked up late wickets to snuff out any chance Sri Lanka might have had at the huge total set by India. Bumrah's ability to consistently bowl yorkers in the death overs is something that will help India in the forthcoming tournaments.

#5 Excellent Indian fielding

Suresh Raina India Sri Lanka T20I 2016
Suresh Raina held on to complete a high catch (Image courtesy: BCCI)

India's batting and bowling were top-notch in the second T20I, and the home side made sure it was an all-round performance by making sure that they matched the quality on the field too. For the very first wicket, the Indian captain set an example as the stumped out Dilshan with quick hands.

Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya and Suresh Raina latched on to finish excellent catches while Dhoni came up with a brilliant stumping to dismiss the Sri Lankan captain Chandimal when he was looking dangerous.

It has to be noted that having a poor outfield did not help the fielders’ job easy, however, the Indian fielders kept cool heads to hang on and finish catches that did change the course of the match.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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