With a rotated squad for India’s home T20I series against Sri Lanka, head coach Rahul Dravid has urged patience as the team’s future stars find their feet.
India lost by 16 runs to Sri Lanka in the second Twenty20 International in Pune, with touring captain Dasun Shanaka named Player of the Match after a brilliant performance with bat and ball. The series finale takes place on Thursday in Rajkot.
Bowling discipline was scrutinised in the defeat at the MCA Stadium, with wides and no-balls contributing to a Sri Lankan total of 206/6. Suryakumar Yadav (51 from 36 balls) and Axar Patel (65 from 31 balls) contributed to India’s early struggles with the bat, leaving them at 34/4.
Arshdeep Singh struggled for his run-up on his return to international cricket, bowling three no-balls in his first over before bowling two more in his death-over return. He finished with 0/37 from two overs as Sri Lanka took advantage of the extra opportunities.
Dravid was quick to defend Arshdeep and the young bowling group, explaining that experience will yield results.
“Nobody wants to bowl wides and no-balls in any format of the game, but especially in T20.
“The young kids will have games like this at times, and I think we all need to be patient with them, (but) we also need to understand that games like this cannot occur.
“I think it’s difficult for them to learn. Learning to play international cricket is not easy. You must learn on the job. I believe we’ll have to exercise some patience with these guys.