In the end it was a hugely convincing win for team India, as Rohit Sharma’s men recorded India’s biggest ever victory margin by beating Sri Lanka by 93 runs in the first T20I in Cuttack.
After being put in to bat, India put on a very competitive 180 runs on the board on a two paced batting track. Rahul’s breezy half century gave India the start that they wanted, but unfortunately the talented right hander could not convert it into a big score, as India struggled in the middle overs.
It was then left to Mahi to produce another swashbuckling knock, as the former India skipper blasted a quick fire 39. Dhoni was very well supported by Manish Pandey, as the Karnataka batsmen creamed the Sri Lankan attack to hand India the initiative heading into the break.
Eventually their score was too much for the Lankans, as the spin duo of Chahal and Yadav spun a web around the batsmen.
Chahal in particular was superb as he picked up four quick wickets to effectively end the match as a contest by the mid point of the second innings.
At the post match press conference, Rohit was quick to praise Dhoni and credit his presence in the dressing room.
“I said earlier that toss isn’t going to make much of a difference. Dew was there for forty overs. Nothing changed. I don’t think it was much easier to bat later on. Conditions remained the same. I think KL Rahul at the top was a great move. He wasn’t a part of the ODI squad but he came and showed that he belongs here.”
“He batted magnificently and we felt that he was hitting the ball well. And great finish to the batting innings by MS and Manish, who hasn’t got much game time to come and bat like that. We can’t talk much about MSD. He didn’t get much batting in the ODIs but shows that class is permanent. ”
“We expect a lot from him and No.4 position paid off. He is someone who’s played and won so many games, so moving forward we feel, in this format, he can bat at No.4 will be ideal which can allow Manish and Dinesh to finish the innings”