Who said what: World reacts after India level T20I series 1-1
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:
No sign of green tonight in Ranchi I'm surprised there's no cactus growing on the outfield it so dry #INDvsSL— Matthew Hayden AM (@HaydosTweets) February 12, 2016
Virat Kohli, who was rested for the series, was vocal in his support:
There was also plenty of praise for MS Dhoni's glovework:
The fastest hands in the east. #MSDhoni— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) February 12, 2016
Dhoni's style of stumping should come with a caution...don't try it at home. There's simply no 'give'...something coaches teach you!— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) February 12, 2016
Former Indian captain, Anjum Chopra, calling it like it is:
It's a different day. The pitch is brown, the swing is gone and the bowlers are struggling!— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) February 12, 2016
Pandya rapid in the outfield and Dhoni lightning behind the stumps. This Indian team is heart-warming in the field.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) February 12, 2016
Weaker teams need the conditions to even the playing field...on a decent pitch, it becomes a one-sided contest. Difference b/w Pune & Ranchi— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) February 12, 2016
The only piece missing from India's jigsaw puzzle was Dhawan's utility in T20...now, even that piece is falling in place #IndvSL— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) February 12, 2016