Second T20 vs Sri Lanka: Come on India, learn the lessons and don’t get disheartened

-Atreyo Mukhopadhyay

India losing a match, any match, against a relatively low-profile team at home is always a matter of intense scrutiny. It should be. Here are some of the highest paid and most well looked after cricketers who are unable to deliver against a bunch of guys from a country struggling to make ends meet.

Wasn’t India losing the second T20 against Sri Lanka in Pune something like that? Was it not like giving away something one ought not? There were too many loose ends, weren’t they? The answer is yes. You were clumsy on that given day and paid the price. When you commit mistakes that you should not, you must suffer.

Having said that, I insist that this set of players must be persisted with. Yes, Arshdeep Singh bowled too many no-balls which eventually made the difference between the teams on that day. Do not write him off. You have seen something in him and that is why he is playing for India. He has done well in the past and I am sure he will learn from this experience. When you pick someone, make sure that he or she gets a fair run.

Now, I want to ask what is the support staff doing. It is a part of the coaching team’s job to ensure that elementary errors are eradicated at the net practice phase. It is difficult to believe that a bowler overstepping so many times in a game does not do it while having nets. That is where it should have been noticed before allowing it to happen in a match. Arshdeep erred, yes. What were the coaches doing before that?

Seven no-balls, seven extra runs, an extra over and seven free-hits almost all of which are taken maximum advantage of make a key difference in a T20 match. Off one of those, a batter was caught! He came back blasting sixes after that. That is where the match was conceded. Sri Lanka’s total could have been 180 at best. Not 200 plus. And yes, they were also a bit fortunate because a lot of outside edged went for runs. On another day, these might have carried to the fielders.

Still, I do not think that this outcome should lead to knee-jerk reactions. You have selected this bunch with a plan in mind in all probability.  So stick to them. I am sure the team management will. One freak day when little went your way, and despite that, you came rather close to a huge target means that there are few things that are right. This process should continue. There is no reason to panic.

What I was somewhat disappointed with was the length Indian pacers bowled. They kept fluctuating between full and short. I thought they should have stuck to that fuller length. One hit for a boundary does not mean you deviate from your primary plan the next ball. That is where the Sri Lankan quicker bowlers scored over the Indians. They pitched it up and we all saw what difference it made.

It was a bad day, and this lot of players should make sure that they do not commit basic mistakes. If they to these things properly, chances are high that they will succeed. Not everything is in your control but make sure you do not make things easier for the opponent. They will be wiser by the experience I think. Sometimes, defeats are needed because they teach important lessons.

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