The Indian cricket team lost the second T20I of the 3-match series against Sri Lanka in a nail-biting battle that saw the middle-order batters Suryakumar Yadav and Axar Patel kept the side in the hunt for 207-run mark.
India’s top-order disintegrated, putting great pressure on the batting team in the middle. While Suryakumar and Axar managed to keep India in the game for the most portion of the encounter, some concerns were raised when the newcomer Rahul Tripathi came ahead of Suryakumar.
Playing in place of Sanju Samson, Tripathi was expected to take up the finisher’s role in the team alongside Hardik Pandya and Axar Patel.
But, he batted in a ‘more natural’ No. 3 place, pushing Suryakumar down to 4th.
When India’s skipper Hardik was asked about this choice, he said: “Surya had a wonderful run at four. Rahul is accustomed to playing at no. 3, and someone coming in, we want to offer them a role they are familiar with. That’s why he batted at No. 3.”
Tripathi didn’t have a debut to remember. He could only score 5 runs from 5 bowls in his maiden T20I performance for India.
Bowlers headed by Kasun Rajitha held down India to 190-8 despite a promising 91-run sixth-wicket stand between Suryakumar Yadav (51) and Axar Patel (65). (65).
Captain Shanaka turned up with his medium-pace bowling for the 20th over to send back Axar and Shivam Mavi, who struck 26 off 15 balls, and take the series into the conclusion on Saturday in Rajkot.
But it was Shanaka’s batting that set up victory as he tore into the Indian attack with his fifty off 20 balls the fastest by a Sri Lankan batsman in the T20 format.