India vs Sri Lanka 2020, 2nd T20I: 3 reasons why Men in Blue won the match
After starting the new year with an abandoned match, India defeated Sri Lanka by 7 wickets at Indore in the second T20I of the 3-match series. With this win, India took a lead of 1-0 and made sure that they won't lose the series.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli opted to field first on an ideal batting wicket, keeping the dew factor in mind. Despite starting their batting well, Sri Lanka failed to put up a competitive total and managed to score only 142-9 in 20 overs which was 25-30 runs short of a competitive score.
Chasing 143, India did not face any hurdles while facing the Sri Lankan bowlers and won the match with 7 wickets in hand and 2.3 overs to spare thanks to responsible batting by the Indian batsmen.
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India dominated Sri Lanka in all the departments to win the match. And as India eye for a series victory in the 3rd T20I, let's have a look at the 3 main reasons why India won the 2nd T20I.
#1. A clinical performance by the Indian bowling unit
The Indian bowling unit was outstanding against the Sri Lankan batsmen. After containing the opposing batsmen from scoring too many runs in the initial overs, the bowlers came into their own in the second half of the Sri Lankan innings, scalping one wicket after the other, eventually choking Sri Lanka at the time when they needed to accelerate their scoring rate.
Kuldeep Yadav (2/38), despite going for runs, dismissed Oshada Fernando (10 runs off 9 balls) and Kusal Perera (34 runs off 28 balls) in the 12th and 14th over respectively to start the Sri Lankan batting collapse. The fast bowlers then took over and kept sending the Sri Lankan batsmen back to the pavilion at regular intervals with their lethal bowling and ensured a below-par target for India.
Shardul Thakur(3/23) was the pick of the bowlers and scalped 3 wickets in the penultimate over. While Navdeep Saini (2/18), Jasprit Bumrah (1/32) and Washington Sundar (1/29) played their part well to contribute to India's victory.
#2. Solid batting by India's top 4
After restricting the visitors to Just 142, India started the chase with a new opening combination of Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul. The duo took forward the Indian innings steadily and added 71 runs in 9.1 overs for the first wicket which meant India gathered almost half of the required runs in the first 9 overs and all they needed was to keep the momentum going.
After the departure of the openers, Shreyas Iyer (34 runs off 26 balls) and Virat Kohli (30* off 17 balls) took on the onus of carrying the chase forward. Both batsmen did not try to score quickly and focused on keeping pace with the required run rate, countering the Sri Lankan bowling well to prevent any further loss of wickets. Although Iyer lost his wicket in the 18th over after scoring some quick runs, the 51-run stand (off 34 balls) between him and Kohli sealed the match for India.
The top order of Indian batting lineup looked in sublime form and was one of the main reasons for India's first victory of the year.
#3. Sri Lanka failed to take wickets to put pressure on India
The Sri Lankan bowlers had a tough task to carry out as they needed to take some quick wickets in the initial overs on a wicket ideal for batting to create any chances of winning the match. Despite all their efforts, they could not threaten the Indian openers which allowed the latter to score comfortably. Even skipper Lasith Malinga (0/41) struggled to get past the opposing batsmen. The injury picked up by Isuru Udana during the innings break too made things worse for Sri Lanka as they missed the service of an experienced bowler when they needed it the most.
After dismissing the Indian openers, the bowlers got a rare opportunity to make a comeback. Although they kept the batsmen silent for a while, but not being able to get a breakthrough closed the door on Sri Lanka in the match.