India head coach Rahul Dravid has hinted at big changes in the Indian T20 squad after their loss in the second T20I match against Sri Lanka.
India fell to a 16-run loss on Thursday, 5 January after Dasun Shanaka’s men hit 206 runs in 20 overs.
India were up against some quality seam bowling in the first half of the innings and failed to get a good start.
A late assault from Suryakumar Yadav and Axar Patel got them close to the total, but India never looked like they could chase the total down, losing their best batters in the powerplay.
Dravid in the press conference said that everyone needed to be patient with the young team and hinted at things to come in the future.
“We are a young team and playing in these pressure situations, in must win games can only be good for us,” the coach said in the post match press conference.
“For us, from the last game we played in the World Cup, only three or four boys played in that team. And we are at a slightly different stage when we are looking at the next cycle of T20 cricket. So, to play a quality side like Sri Lanka is really good for us,” the coach further added.
After India beat Sri Lanka by 2 runs in the series opener, the visitors came out all guns blazing to take the 2nd T20I quite comfortably.
The 3rd T20 in Rajkot is a must-win game and there are many areas that need immediate action.
The biggest let down has been the batting order.
The irony is that Axar Patel, who is an all-rounder, is the top run-scorer for India with 96 runs at a strike rate of 188.
He has struck 6 fours and 7 sixes.
Suryakumar Yadav and Deepak Hooda have been the only two batters who have sparkled.
Yadav made 58 runs at a strike rate of 126 in the 2nd T20I and Deepak Hooda scored a fifty in the first T20I batting lower down the order.
Umran Malik has been the best bowler for India and has picked up 5 wickets while bowling at an average of 15 and an economy rate of 9.37.
Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill, and Hardik Pandya haven’t been able to contribute significantly.
Arshdeep Singh, who missed the 1st T20I and came back from an injury in the 2nd match, bowled as many as 5 no-balls while team India bowled a total of 7 no-balls, resulting in 7 Free Hits.
Shivam Mavi impressed cricket fans with his 4-wicket haul on debut but went wicketless for 53 runs in the 2nd T20I.
This inconsistency is worrisome and Dravid might consider making a few changes to the team.
Rituraj Gaikwad could replace Shubman Gill and Arshdeep might make way for Harshal Patel.
Ind vs SL 3rd T20 Squad India- Hardik Pandya (Captain), Ishan Kishan (Wicket Keeper), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav (VC), Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Jitesh Sharma (WK), Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Umran Malik, Shivam Mavi, Mukesh Kumar.