Rohit’s outfit suffer embarrassing 7-wicket loss in seam-friendly conditions in picturesque venue
The Indian batsmen’s footwork literally froze in the chilly weather at the scenic Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium here as they suffered a massive seven-wicket defeat in the opening one-dayer here yesterday. Thus, Sri Lanka snapped their 12-match ODI losing streak. Batting in seaming conditions after 26 ODIs in 2017, Indian batsmen, barring MS Dhoni (65), surrendered to Suranga Lakmal’s single spell as he finished with 10-4-13-4.
Sri Lankan pacer Suranga Lakmal celebrates the wicket of India’s Dinesh Karthik during yesterday’s ODI in Dharamsala. Pic/PTI
Top five flop
India’s top five batsmen — Shikhar Dhawan, skipper Rohit Sharma, debutant Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik and Manish Pandey – all perished with single digit scores. While the Indian openers fell after the successful use of Decision Review System (DRS), the rest were guilty of playing cross-batted shots on a seaming track, resulting in inside and outside edges.
MS Dhoni hits out during his innings of 65 against Sri Lanka yesterday. Pic/PTI
Skipper Rohit refused to look into the team’s batting failure when confronted with testing conditions. “If you notice, any bowler who bowled in that channel would have got wickets. We were trying to survive in those conditions because we knew that the wicket would get better. But we lost wickets and we were also not scoring in that pace — this put us in even more trouble. It is an eye opener, we will learn from it. It is a young batting group; the guys, including myself, will learn and play out these situations well next time,” said Rohit.
‘Not guilty of rash shots’
“I don’t think we played any rash shots — they bowled in the right channel and kept us guessing all the time,” he added.Only MS Dhoni showed the right technique and temperament to bat in testing conditions as he used his feet well to negate the swing that the Sri Lankan pacers were able to generate.Thanks to Dhoni, India managed to stretch their innings to 38.2 overs and post 112 runs on the board. At 29 for seven in 16.4 overs, India were headed towards their lowest ever ODI total (54 v SL at Sharjah in 2000). At least they ducked that bullet!