Indian captain Shikhar Dhawan admitted that his team was at least 10-15 runs short during the second T20 against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
On what Dhawan termed as a sluggish surface, India never really got going in their innings as the Sri Lankan spinners spun a web around them.
Dhawan himself struggled big time as he meandered to a painstaking 42-ball 40 while the debutantes batting Padikkal to an extent, alongside the mercurial Sanju Samson failed to rise to the occasion.
Shikhar Dhawan did admit that playing with just 5 batters did play on their mind and that reflected in their approach.
“The surface had turn and it was stopping a bit. Of course, we knew one batsman was short and we knew we had to construct the innings smartly and we had to content ourselves at some point. But yeah, we were 10-15 runs short,” said Shikhar Dhawan in the post-match presentation.
That said, despite having just 132 runs in the bank, Indian bowlers made a match out of it as their spin trio of Chahar, Kuldeep and Varun created a stranglehold during the middle overs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Chetan Sakariya bowled decently but Chamika Karunaratne’s six off the former and Dhananjaya de Silva’s cool-and-composed 34-ball 40* eventually propelled Sri Lanka to a hard-earned win.
But irrespective of the result, Shikhar Dhawan was proud of his young team for the spirited effort that they displayed despite the odds being stacked against them.
“I am very proud of the boys because we gave a very good fight. That never dying attitude and taking the game to the last game while defending just 132, hats off to both bowlers and batters,” said Dhawan.
With Sri Lanka winning today, we will now have a decider of the three-match rubber tomorrow.