IND vs SL 2021: “Glad these players debuted” – Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan (Photo: Shikhar Dhawan's Twitter)
Shikhar Dhawan (Photo: Shikhar Dhawan's Twitter)

Despite Friday's loss in the final ODI against Sri Lanka, Indian captain Shikhar Dhawan expressed his happiness for the five debuting players as they were in quarantine for a long time. For the first time since 1980, India fielded five debutants in an ODI.

After sealing the series on Tuesday with a win in the second ODI, India handed ODI caps to Sanju Samson, Chetan Sakariya, Rahul Chahar, Nitish Rana and Krishnappa Gowtham. India fought hard but ended up losing the match by three wickets (DLS method), which meant this was their first ODI defeat in Sri Lanka in nine years.

“I am glad the players made their debut because everyone was in quarantine for such a long time, and we had this chance because we sealed the series in the last game. I always analyse where I can improve and get better in strategies,” said Shikhar Dhawan in the presentation ceremony.

Sanju Samson, Rahul Chahar and Chetan Sakariya impressed in their first outing. While Samson scored a breezy 46, Sakariya and Chahar claimed two and three wickets respectively.

We were 50 runs short: Shikhar Dhawan

As India’s 25th ODI captain, Shikhar Dhawan started his captaincy journey with a series win, but he also became the first Indian captain to lose a match at Colombo’s R Premadasa in almost 12 years. He lamented the batting show and stated that the side was 50 runs short.

“It didn’t go our way. We tried some new players. We got a good start, but again we lost too many wickets in the middle overs. We were 50 runs short in the end. Of course, we were positive that we could defend the target, but we knew that we were short. The boys gave a good fight, and it was interesting in the end. We always have to keep learning,” said Shikhar Dhawan on the team’s performance.

Shikhar Dhawan finished as India’s highest run-scorer in the ODI series with 128 runs at an average of 64. After a steady 86 not out in the first game, he didn’t get going in the next two matches.

On Sunday, Shikhar Dhawan is set to be India’s seventh T20I skipper after Virender Sehwag, MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.

Edited by Prem Deshpande
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