Indian captain and veteran opener, Shikhar Dhawan, was a proud man at the post-match presentation after his young team put up a brilliant all-round performance in his maiden game as the leader of the ‘Men in Blue’.
Team India knocked over Sri Lanka’s total of 9/262 in a mere 36.4 overs thanks to belligerent stroke play by the likes of Prithvi Shaw, debutants Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav and a calm-and-collected unbeaten 95-ball 86 by Dhawan.
The cornerstone to India’s victory, however, was led by their spin-trio of Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav and Krunal Pandya.
The trio claimed five wickets between them, creating a stranglehold on the Sri Lankan batters in the middle stages.
And, Shikhar Dhawan was effusive in his praise for them.
“All our boys are very mature as well as aggressive. The way they played today was tremendous and I am very happy. The way our spinners bowled, they brought us back, all three spinners, Chahal, Kuldeep and Krunal,” said Shikhar Dhawan.
“I thought about my hundred but there were not many runs left’- Shikhar Dhawan
Dhawan had the best seat in the house during the first 20 overs of the Indian innings as the duo of Prithvi Shaw and Ishan Kishan went hammer and tongs against a hapless Sri Lankan bowling attack.
Such was the belligerence displayed by Shaw and Kishan that Dhawan admitted that he had to tell them to ‘take it easy’.
Dhawan, meanwhile, played like a monk at the other end as he chipped in with yet another 50-plus score.
He jokingly admitted that he had thought of getting to his hundred but unfortunately ran out of runs.
The southpaw signed off by heaping high praise on Suryakumar Yadav’s strokeplay.
“It was good to be on the other end and watch Prithvi and Ishan. I was telling them to take it easy actually. The way these young boys play in the IPL, they get lots of exposure and they just finished the game in the first 15 overs only,” said Dhaawn.
“I thought about my hundred but there were not many runs left. (laughs). When Surya came out to bat, I thought I need to improve my skills (laughs),” he added.