Sri Lanka beat India by 16 runs in the second T20I of the series in Pune on Thursday. Batting first after losing the toss, the visitors posted an excellent score of 206/6. India responded with 190/8. While the margin of victory was a pretty comfortable one for Sri Lanka in the end, India’s bowlers did aid the opposition’s cause.
Arshdeep, returning from a break and also having missed the first T20I due to illness, bowled three consecutive no balls in the second over of the innings. The over swung the momentum Sri Lanka’s way. Half-centuries from Kusal Mendis (52 off 31) and skipper Dasun Shanaka (56* off 22) saw the Lankans go past the 200-run mark.
Apart from Arshdeep, Shivam Mavi and Umran Malik also bowled one no ball each. Sri Lanka converted a number of free hits into boundaries, which was the defining factor since India ended on 190/8 despite half-centuries from Axar Patel (65) and Suryakumar Yadav (51).
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Pandya said about the bowling, "In past as well he (Arshdeep) has bowled no-balls. It is not about blaming but no ball is a crime.”
Pandya criticized his teams for making some basic errors, adding that the same are unacceptable at the international level. He added, "Both bowling and batting - powerplay hurt us. We made basic errors which we shouldn't do at this level. Learning should be the basics we can control. You can have a bad day but shouldn't be going away from basics. In this situation it is very difficult.”
The Indian skipper was also asked about the decision to send debutant Rahul Tripathi at No. 3, ahead of Suryakumar Yadav, in the chase of 207 runs, Pandya explained, "Surya had a fantastic run at four. Anyone who comes into the team - you want to give them (Tripathi) a role they are comfortable in.”
India and Sri Lanka will meet in the third T20I in Rajkot on January 7, with the series level 1-1.
--By A Cricket Correspondent