Who said what: World reacts after India level T20I series 1-1

Ashish Nehra
India’s bowlers came to the party after the batsmen posted a massive total

India beat Sri Lanka by 69 runs to register their third-biggest T20I win and levelled the three-match series 1-1. After India posted 196, on the back of Shikhar Dhawan’s career-best T20I score and cameos from Suresh Raina and Hardik Pandya, the odds looked long for Sri Lanka.

Thisara Perera’s hat-trick in his final over, although crucial in keeping the total under 200, did little to help them as they eventually fell well short of the target. While Ashish Nehra and Ravichandran Ashwin did the damage at the start of the innings, Jasprit Bumrah finished things off at the end.

While the margin of victory is massive, it was evidently clear who the better team was on the day as India made the utmost use of the conditions and ensured that the series was on the line going into the final T20I in Vizag on Sunday.

Dhoni praises India’s fielding

Victorious Indian captain, MS Dhoni was once again quick to praise the bowlers and the fielders. He said: “Almost 200 runs were scored, but there was something for everyone. Experimenting is a word banned from Indian cricket, but yes we're trying different things.

“Our top order has done well, so we're trying to give everyone an opportunity whenever possible. Most of our fielders are above average. Sometimes in T20s, even the slower ones can get away. But yes, fielding is very important. Being a bit unorthodox behind the stumps really helps, but credit to the bowlers for beating the batsman.”

For his 22-ball fifty, Shikhar Dhawan was named Man of the Match. "Happy to have got my first T20I fifty. I was hitting the ball well. I like to play my natural game, I got a lot of support from the captain and the coaching staff. We didn't have any specific plan to hit 70 in the first six. Once I started connecting the ball well, it all came together,” he said.

Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal praised the Indian batsmen. He said: “We tried hard as a bowling unit, but eventually gave away 25 extra runs. We need to regroup. On this kind of track, we needed to mix our yorkers and slower deliveries well. Hopefully, our bowlers will learn quickly. We’ll put our heart and soul into the next game.”

Here are the reactions from the cricketing fraternity:

Matthew Hayden had his say on the pitch:

Virat Kohli, who was rested for the series, was vocal in his support:

There was also plenty of praise for MS Dhoni's glovework:

Former Indian captain, Anjum Chopra, calling it like it is:

Harsha Bhogle:

Aakash Chopra:

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Edited by Staff Editor
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