Farveez Maharoof, a former Sri Lankan all-rounder, claims that most Indian hitters are still trying to pick leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga’s variations.
He claimed that the Men in Blue’s struggles against Sri Lankan spinners in the first T20I on Tuesday, January 3, showed the same.
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Deepak Hooda’s powerful performance, followed by a four-wicket haul from debutant Shivam Mavi, helped Team India defeat Sri Lanka by 2 runs in the inaugural T20I encounter at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. When asked to bat first, Team India lost a few wickets until Hooda (41*) and Axar Patel (31*) led them to a total of 162/5 in 20 overs.
Sri Lanka lost wickets at frequent intervals while chasing 163, but Chamika Karunaratne batted unbeaten for 23 runs. The visitors, though, fell short of 2 runs and were bowled out at 160 in the last-ball thriller. Dasun Shanaka, on the other hand, scored 45 runs. Umran Malik and Harshal Patel both took two wickets for India.
“I don’t think most of the Indian players pick Wanindu Hasaranga”: Maharoof
Sri Lankan spinners kept things tight, with Hasaranga taking 1/22 from four overs and Maheesh Theekshana taking 1/29. Despite India’s narrow two-run victory, Maharoof believes the Lankan spinners have the upper hand over the hosts’ hitters. Maharoof elaborated on his thoughts, saying ESPNcricinfo:
“I don’t think most of the Indian players pick Wanindu Hasaranga or are comfortable playing against him unless he bowls a terrible delivery. I don’t believe players like Sanju Samson would choose him. Even Hardik Pandya is scared to face him at such a good length. The way Dasun Shanaka handled Hasaranga made me think he was really clever. They performed an excellent job with their work.”
On Thursday, January 5, the Men in Blue will face the Lankans in the second Twenty20 International at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.