Man of the match R Ashwin delighted with his performance all the same; MSD hails ‘very good’ win against SL
Visakhapatnam: Barely few days before the Asia Cup and the ICC World Twenty20, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said yesterday ‘consistent’ performances will give his side confidence going into big ticket tournaments.
India’s R Ashwin (centre) celebrates with teammates after the dismissal of Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal during the third T20 international in Visakhapatnam yesterday. Pic/AFP
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin weaved his magic with a career-best four-wicket haul as India yesterday trounced Sri Lanka by nine wickets in the deciding third and final Twenty20 International to clinch the three-match series 2-1. And Dhoni feels his boys need to be expressive going into upcoming important assignments.
"I feel it was a very good game, important we restricted them to a decent total. Ashwin was the pick but he was well supported by the others. In between you will lose one or two games. We want to keep playing the way we are playing. Consistency will give us the confidence," Dhoni said at the post match press conference.
"We need to be expressive, the fans will put the pressure on us but we need to take it one game at a time," the skipper said when asked about their chances in the ICC World Twenty20 to be hosted at home turf. Dhoni also said the experience of playing in the Indian Premier League has helped them in good stead in the shortest format of the game. "Eight seasons of IPL have given us the experience. It’s always good to have conditions suiting you to an extent. Spinners can come into play here, which gives us the liberty to try out a few things," he said.
Man-of-the-match Ashwin said he is presently reaping the benefits of his hard work.
"I hope this lasts forever. The ball is coming out pretty well. I’ve been working pretty hard, I want to contribute and attribute it to the team rather than being a deficiency," he said.
"I thought I would get a five-for today. The wicket had a bit of dampness in it. I have a couple of variations when using the new ball. I want to keep the batsmen guessing, and the wicket makes me a different bowler. I always have the courage to flight the ball."
‘Need to regroup’
Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal said his batsmen let the islanders down in the entire series.
"We didn’t perform well throughout the series as batsmen. If we got 140-plus, we would have had a chance, but we didn’t do that.
Losing wickets happens with an inexperienced team," he said.
"I’m impressed with our bowlers, Shanaka and Chameera. We need to regroup as a team."
N Dickwella st Dhoni
b Ashwin 1
T Dilshan lbw b Ashwin 1
D Chandimal c Pandya
b Ashwin 8
A Gunaratne c Raina
b Ashwin 4
M Siriwardana b Nehra 4
D Shanaka b Jadeja 19
S Prasanna run out (Jadeja) 9
T Perera c Jadeja b Raina 12
S Senanayake c Dhoni
b Raina 8
B Chameera not out 9
D Fernando b Bumrah 1
Extras (lb 2, w 3, nb 1) 6
Total (all out; 18 overs) 82
Fall of wickets 1-2, 2-3, 3-12, 4-20, 5-21, 6-48, 7-54, 8-72, 9-73
R Sharma lbw b Chameera 13
S Dhawan not out 46
A Rahane not out 22
Extras (lb 3) 3
Total (1 wicket; 13.5 overs) 84
Fall of wickets 1-29
India won by 9 wickets