2nd T20I: Virat Kohli hails aces of pace!

Updated: Jan 09, 2020, 08:33 IST | AFP | Indore

Skipper Virat heaps praise on speedsters Navdeep Saini (2-18) and Shardul Thakur (3-23) for orchestrating India's seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka in second T20I in Indore; Lankan skipper Malinga felt his team were 25 runs short.

India skipper Virat Kohli arrives at Pune airport yesterday ahead of the third T20I against Sri Lanka on Friday. Pic/Mandar Tannu
India skipper Virat Kohli arrives at Pune airport yesterday ahead of the third T20I against Sri Lanka on Friday. Pic/Mandar Tannu

Indore: Fast bowler Navdeep Saini led a disciplined Indian bowling performance to set up a seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the second Twenty20 international in Indore on Tuesday.

Saini returned impressive figures of 2-18, while fellow paceman Shardul Thakur claimed three wickets to help restrict Sri Lanka to 142 for nine, a total the hosts surpassed in 17.3 overs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. The opening match was rained off.

"This was a clinical performance, and that's how we want to build on each series. We have ticked a few more boxes this time," said skipper Virat Kohli.

'Navdeep was brilliant'
"Brilliant from Navdeep. He has done well in ODI cricket, and he's bowling well in T20s, with experienced guys like Jasprit [Bumrah], Bhuvi [Bhuvneshwar Kumar] and Shardul. It's a really good sign for the team."

Saini, 27, who made his ODI debut against West Indies on December 22, was adjudged man of the match in his seventh T20 for India.

The Indian bowlers built a perfect platform for victory after Kohli elected to field first. Sri Lanka kept losing wickets at regular intervals despite a brisk start.

Saini, who bowled opener Danushka Gunathilaka for 20, claimed Bhanuka Rajapaksa caught behind for nine, as Sri Lanka slipped to 104 for five. Pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah also took a wicket on his return from a four-month injury lay-off by bowling Dasun Shanaka with a slower ball. Thakur returned for his final over [team's 19th] to rattle the lower-order with three strikes.

"We lacked by about 25 runs. We were looking at 160 or so," said Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga. The third and final match is on Friday in Pune.

Krishna, a surprise package
Kohli meanwhile, also hinted that Karnataka pacer Prasidh Krishna could be a "surprise package" going into the World T20 in Australia this year. "I think one guy will be a surprise package going to Australia. Someone who can bowl with pace and has bounce. Prasidh Krishna has done well in the domestic arena. It is a great luxury to have this group of bowlers in all formats. Looking at the World Cup, we have enough options" he said.

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