Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan. Image-BCCI

Shikhar Dhawan, India‘s captain for the Sri Lanka tour, was effusive in praise for Suryakumar Yadav, whose half-century on Sunday in Colombo helped set up a defendable target in the first T20I.

Yadav, who was Man of the Series in the ODIs, notched up his second T20I fifty in just his third T20I innings. His 50 off 34 balls, laced with 5 fours and 2 sixes, after the fall of Prithvi Shaw and Sanju Samson, helped India post a total of 164, which the hosts fell short by 38 runs.

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (Image Credit: Twitter)

Shikhar Dhawan hailed Suryakumar Yadav as “a great player” despite just into the early months of his international career. He said they all enjoy watching Yadav bat; he not only scores runs, releasing the pressure off from the non-striker, but also does it in an attractive way.

“He(Surya) is a great player and we enjoy watching him bat. He took the pressure from me and the way he plays calculated shots was amazing to watch,” Shikhar Dhawan said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

“I thought we were 10-15 runs short. I feel we played quite well after losing early wickets. It was about one or two boundaries, we knew we could get going,” he added.

We knew our spinners will do the job on that wicket: Shikhar Dhawan

The captain was also confident in the ability of his bowlers to defend the score on an already challenging pitch. Avishka Fernando gave Sri Lanka a quick start but couldn’t find any solid support from the other end; Charith Asalanka scored 44 runs off 26 balls, but he too carried a lone battle.

For India, each of the six bowlers used on the night took at least one wicket. Vice-captain Bhhuvneshwar Kumar returned with figures of 4/22; a couple of wickets for Deepak Chahar and one for Hardik Pandya, while the three spinners  – Yuzvendra Chahal, Krunal Pandya, and debutant Varun Chakravarthy – picked one scalp each.

Yuzvendra Chahal, Sri Lanka vs India
Yuzvendra Chahal (Image Credit: Twitter)

“They were playing well. We knew our spinners will do the job on that wicket. Bhuvi bowled well, so was KP (Krunal). Everyone stood up and even Varun too playing his first match did well giving a few runs and got the wicket. He’s (Varun) difficult to pick, I am very happy for him,” Shikhar Dhawan added.

The second T20I is scheduled for Tuesday evening at the same venue.

Also Read: Watch: Team India All-Rounder Hardik Pandya Sings Sri Lanka’s National Anthem Before 1st T20I