Shardul Thakur once again showed his all-round abilities and his gutsy 22 of 8 deliveries saw India touch the score of 200. Apart from showing his hard-hitting abilities, Shardul also scalped two wickets to help India clinch the series and win the Player of the Match award.
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Reacting to his batting performance in the third T20I, Shardul said seemed confident and said that he believes in his ability to do well with the bat as well.
“I believe I have the ability with the bat and I have been practicing well. If I can contribute at number eight, it is always crucial for the team. With regards to my action, I can bowl outswingers, so the focus is to swing the ball early. I have spent quite some time in the team ever since I broke in in 2016. I get a homely feeling and don’t feel left out, so credit to the captain and the management. I am preparing myself to bat when I am waiting outside and that takes pressure off me when I come in,” he said.
Asked to bat first, the Indian openers provided a solid start to the home team by putting up 97 runs for the first wicket in 10.5 overs. Shikhar Dhawan took the charge early in the start and was the first of the two openers to reach the half-century. He scored 52 off 36 before getting dismissed in the 11th over. Rahul scored 54 off 36 before getting stumped.
The middle-order batsmen did not live up to the expectations but Manish Pandey (31* off 18) held one end. Shardul Thakur hogged the limelight at the end of the with his 22* off eight deliveries to help India reach the 200-run mark.
Chasing the target, Sri Lanka suffered early jitters and lost four wickets in the first powerplay. Dhananjay de Silva did his best by scoring 57 off 36 but in the end, the target wasn’t in the visitors’ reach as they were bowled out for 123. With a victory in Pune, India won the three-match series 2-0.
The Men in Blue now face Australia in a three-match ODI series starting January 14.