India hardly broke a sweat during the only T20 in Colombo as Virat Kohli and Manish Pandey orchestrated a fantastic 7-wicket victory for the visitors to complete a “tourwash”. Even though some of Kohli’s decisions were questionable, they eventually paid off to secure a 9-0 win for India on the tour.
Kohli’s gamble of playing three spinners paid off
It was raining for last 48 hours in Colombo and when the covers came off, it was visible that the pitch was sweating since the covers had been on for a better part of the last 24 hours. The wet surface of the wicket meant that it was not going to hunky-dory for the spinners and a pacer was always going be a good bet for any team. However, India decided to stack their squad with as many as three proper spinners and a part-time spinner in the form of Kedar Jadhav while going with only two pacers in Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. However, contrary to popular belief, it was the
Yuzvendra Chahal’s intelligence helps him
Virat Kohli wanted Chahal to bowl with the new ball today, but his first two deliveries,
Manish Pandey’s versatility comes to the fore
Competition for spots in India's top five is tough, with Kedar Jadhav, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, and Ajinkya Rahane all angling for positions. However, Pandey has made a strong case that he ought to be invested in now after a half-century in his first ODI since October 2016 during the visitors' 168-run win over Sri Lanka in the fourth ODI. In that match what caught the eye was the way he exploited both sides of the wicket equally and did the same thing today as well on his way to score 51 runs off just 36 balls. It was a clear contrast to his reputation of being a leg-side player in the Indian Premier League as he scored 67% of his runs on his "weaker" off side. His partnership with skipper Kohli that yielded 119 runs was the showcase of a player who has become mature enough in recent years to compete on the international stage. With the innings, he has made his case even stronger for a spot in the middle-order.
Lasith Malinga or Bhuvneshwar Kumar? Who will take more wickets?
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