PUNE: Shubman Gill will aim to up the ante in the power play overs to keep his nearest rival Ruturaj Gaikwad in check, while a lively Indian team aims to turn all guns on Sri Lanka to end the series in second T20I up for grabs here on Thursday.
India won a two-run last-ball thriller in the opener at Wankhede while defending an underperforming result, and skipper Hardik Pandya spoke about the benefits of handling tough situations as the team progresses.
While T20Is are not the top priority in an ODI World Cup year, Gill will not be keen on repeating the mistakes of his predecessors while aiming to cement his place on the T20I side after making his name in the longer versions.
Gill’s career batting average after 96 T20 games (mainly IPL and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy) is a modest 128.74, and even on his debut he looked like a shaky starter.
While Gill has opened up a lot for KKR and even been an integral part at the top of the Gujarat Titans, his game is mostly based on consolidation and then the kill.
However, this is the identical approach that had cost KL Rahul a place in the T20 squad. While Skipper Pandya, like every other Indian captain in recent memory, has promised a fearless approach at the helm, he would need any of his players to speak up.
1. T20I: Dream debut for Shivam Mavi as India against Sri Lanka
Fast bowler debutant Shivam Mavi picked up 4 wickets as India edged out Sri Lanka in a thrilling 2-run opening of Twenty20 International.
Mavi needed 4/22 to help India beat Sri Lanka by 160 points on a 163 win goal and lead the three-game streak 1-0 in Mumbai.
Deepak Hooda (41) and Axar (31) set up the win with an undefeated 68-run six-wicket stand that drove India to 162/5.
Ishan Kishan attacked when he hit Kasun Rajitha with six and two fours in a 17-run opener after Sri Lanka called on India to bat.
India raced to 26 in the first two overs but momentum waned after losing their top and middle order.
Karunaratne sent back Suryakumar Yadav, who mistimed one of his daring scoop shots only to be caught short fine leg.
India lost two more wickets and slipped to 77/4 when Wanindu took out Hasaranga Kishan for 37.
Fast left-arm Dilshan Madushanka added more misery to India as he edged Hardik Pandya for 29.
Hooda, who hit four sixes with his 23-ball knock and was named man of the match, and left-hander Axar then took charge.
In response, Mavi struck in his first over in international cricket when he played Pathum Nissanka for a bowling.
Mavi then sent Dhananjaya de Silva back for eight in his next to put India on top.
Umran Malik took out Charith Asalanka on 12 and Harshal Patel scored twice to leave Sri Lanka at 68/5.
Harshal broke Kusal Mendis’ shot on 28 with his medium-paced bowling, then sent back the dangerous Bhanuka Rajapaksa for 10.
Skipper Dasun Shanaka and Hasaranga attempted to form a 40-run partnership, but Mavi broke the stand with Hasaranga’s wicket for 21.
Shanaka (45) hit Umran with a six in the 17th over but the speedster had his revenge two balls later to further dampen Sri Lanka’s hopes.
Axar Patel kept his nerve in a tense final game as Sri Lanka needed 13 to win and Chamika Karunaratne scared India with 23 unbeaten.
The final over was initially wide and ended in two run-outs that left Karunaratne heartbroken and India jubilant.
The second game of the series will take place in Pune on Thursday.
The Indian T20 cabinet is teeming with talent with the likes of Ruturaj and Rahul Tripathi cooling their heels in the dugout.
Both Gill and Ishan Kishan are expected to win all three games in the series and an impactful power play will also give batters coming in order more confidence to play fearless cricket.
The batting unit will happily score more runs in the second game and a lot will depend on how new vice-captain Suryakumar Yadav does what he calls ‘frontloading’ (hitting hard in the first 10 overs). in cricket jargon.
Surya was dismissed cheaply, one of his rare T20 retirements after a golden 2022, but it had more to do with slightly less pace on the surface than in Australia and New Zealand, where the ‘blind scoop’ over ’45’ would normally go one six.
Paceman Shivam Mavi shines in T20I debut
Pace sensation Shivam Mavi made a dream T20I debut for India as he won 4/22 to lead India to a thrilling 2-run win in the first T20I over Sri Lanka.
Mavi’s numbers of 4/22 are the third-best numbers in an innings debut for India. Barinder Sran (4/10) tops the list, followed by Pragyan Ojha (4/21).
Mavi got rid of Lankan batsmen Pathum Nissanka, Dhanajaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana in his four-wicket haul.
Mavi was bought by defending champions Gujarat Titans for Rs 6 crore at the IPL 2023 auction in December 2022.
Mavi received his first call-up to India’s T20I squad four days after being bought by 2022 IPL champions Gujarat Titans.
Released by Kolkata Knight Riders after an ordinary 2022 IPL, Mavi was part of the India squad that won the 2018 U-19 World Cup.
Mavi managed just five wickets in six games at an economy rate of 10.31 in IPL 2022.
Mavi played for Uttar Pradesh and took ten wickets in seven games at the 2022 Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy with a saving rate of 6.64.
But smart operator that he is, Surya will find a way to maneuver against a Sri Lankan bowling attack that depends more on spinners Wanindu Hasaranga and Mahesh Theekshana, who accounted for two wickets and wasted just 51 runs in their accumulated eight overs.
Deepak Hooda and Axar Patel’s batting performance was commended by all and their utility is evident.
Shivam Mavi’s dream debut is certainly a huge relief for skipper Pandya, who could be credited for grabbing the new ball and playing a succinct first spell alongside the newcomer.
Mavi (4/22) with his ball swing ability and Umran Malik (2/27) raw pace are welcome additions to this T20 squad and appear to be long-term investments for the 2024 T20 World Cup.
The concern, however, will be leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who must have lost a bit of confidence after being ignored during the T20 World Championship.
In fact, Chahal went to 26 in his first two overs and the skipper couldn’t let him finish his spell.
India: Hardik Pandya (Captain), Ishan Kishan (wk), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav (VC), Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Umran Malik , Shivam Mavi, Mukesh Kumar
Sri Lanka: Dasun Shanaka (C), Pathum Nissanka, Avishka Fernando, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kusal Mendis (VC for ODIs), Bhanuka Rajapaksa (only for T20Is), Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga (VC for T20Is), Ashen Bandara, Maheesh Theekshana, Jeffrey Vandersay (only for ODIs), Chamika Karunaratne, Dilshan Madushanka, Kasun Rajitha, Nuwanidu Fernando (only for ODIs), Dunith Wellalage, Pramod Madushan, Lahiru Kumara, Nuwan Thushara (only for T20Is)