Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar picked a flaw in India’s T20I series win against Sri Lanka on Saturday in Dharamsala, that resulted in the team’s 11th consecutive win in the format and a third successive series victory, issuing a huge warning to captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid.
Batting first, Sri Lanka were completely choked in the middle overs, scoring 105 runs for four wickets at the end of the 15th over. Yet they finished with 183 on the board, for a loss of just one more wicket in the slog overs.
Harshal Patel was smashed for 42 runs in two overs while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah conceded 16 and 14 runs respectively as India gave away 78 runs in the death overs.
Gavaskar, in conversation with Star Sports, opined that India need to address this issue and cannot afford to concede runs heavily often. The legendary batter also hailed Sri Lanka’s slog-over batting, expressing his amazement at the manner in which they handled Jasprit Bumrah.
“It is not a sign of worry but it is something they have got to look at because they cannot afford to have it regularly. One match, it happens that is the nature of the format. There might be partnerships in the last 5-6 overs where you will get 80-90 runs like we saw today. Shanaka was magnificent today. Even Nissanka…look at that shot against Bumrah, of all the people. It isn’t easy to hit against Bumrah. It is an issue that India cannot afford to sweep under the carpet. They have to worry about the death-over bowlers. Who should be bowling the first 10 and the last 8. These are issues that India need to think,” he said.
India however chased down the target comfortably with Shreyas Iyer scoring his second consecutive half-century along with a blitz from Ravindra Jadeja in the slog overs.
Speaking on India’s death-over bowling, Rohit, in the post-match presentation said, “Don’t want to be too harsh on the bowlers, these things happen. We bowled well in the first few overs (in the batting powerplay), restricted them well, 80 runs in the last five overs, it’s something we need to understand on things to be done in the last five overs, but we did well in the first 15 overs. The pitch was superb, the ball was coming on nicely and these things do happen.”