India took on Bangladesh in the final of the Nidahas T20 Championship in Colombo on Sunday. India went in as the favourites but a combination of inexperience, bad decisions and pressure put India on the brink of defeat. Dinesh Karthik came to the crease at the 19th over and played a blinder to help India come from behind and pull of an incredible last ball victory.
Inexperienced Bowling Line-up Prove To Costly
India rested their experienced bowlers in an attempt to give their back up bowlers an opportunity to prove themselves at the highest level. All three Indian pacers struggled with the line and length and proved to be extremely expensive. S Thakur and V Shankar both went at over 11 an over while J Unadkat bowled a reasonable spell taking 2 wickets and conceding 33 in his spell.
Bangladesh should have been kept under 145 but M Miraz played a cameo late in the innings to get Sri Lanka to a respectable 166 for 8.
Poor Decisions Nearly Cost India The Tournament
R Sharma (56) played a captain’s innings while he saw wickets fall at regular intervals. S Dhawan (10), S Raina (0) and K Rahul (24) fell in quick succession and it was up to M Pandey and R Sharma to build an innings. Pandey struggled to find the boundary and allowed the pressure to build which forced R Sharma to take unnecessary risks and lose his wicket.
The Indian think-tank decided to send V Shankar ahead of D Karthik knowing that M Pandey was struggling at the other end. It was a move that backfired and nearly cost India the match. D Karthik has not been dismissed this series and has been in sublime form but the management decided to keep him in the shed.
V Shankar and M Pandey struggled together and at one point India needed over 30 runs with 2 overs left. The fall of M Pandey brought D Karthik to the crease in the 19th over and he sent his first ball over the boundary for six. Karthik ended up hitting 29 of just 9 balls scoring at a strike rate of 363. India needed 5 runs to win of the final ball and Karthik delivered sending it over the ropes to take India over the line.
India will be thrilled at winning the Nidahas T20 Championship with a rather in-experienced line-up. However the Indian selectors will also realize that apart from W Sundar, none of the young players who got an opportunity during the series really delivered.