India won a last-ball thriller by two runs in the opener in Wankhede while defending a below-par scoreline and skipper Hardik Panda talked about the benefits of overcoming difficult situations as the team progresses.
Although the T20Is are not of the highest priority in an ODI World Cup year, Gil won’t like to repeat the mistakes of its predecessors while aiming to cement its place alongside the T20I after making a name for itself in the longer versions.
Gill’s career strike rate after playing 96 T20 matches (mostly IPL and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy) is a modest 128.74 and, even in his debut, he looked like a shaky starter.
While Gill opened a lot for KKR and was even an integral part of the Gujarat Titans command, his game is mostly based on consolidating and then killing.
However, it was the same approach that had cost KL Rahul a spot in the T20 squad. While skipper Pandya, like every other India captain in the recent past, has promised a fearless approach to the top, he would need each of his players to lead by example.
1st T20I: Dream debut for Shivam Mavi as India overtakes Sri Lanka
India’s T20 cupboard is brimming with talent with players like Ruturaj and Rahul Tripathi cooling their heels in the dugout.
Gill and Ishan Kishan are expected to get all three games in the series and hard-hitting Powerplay will also give hitters going down the order more confidence to play cricket fearlessly.
The batting unit will like to score more runs in Game 2 and a lot will depend on how new vice-captain Suryakumar Yadav does what is known as “front-loading” (hitting heavy in the first 10 overs) in cricket lingo.
Surya was fired cheaply, one of his rare failures in T20 after a golden 2022, but that had more to do with slightly less pace on the box unlike Australia and New Zealand where the ‘blind scoop’ on ’45’, would normally go for a six.
Paceman Shivam Mavi shines on T20I debut
But the clever operator that he is, Surya will find a way to maneuver against a Sri Lankan bowling attack that is more reliant on spinners. Wanindu Hasaranga and Mahesh Theekshana who accounted for two wickets, giving up just 51 runs in their aggregate eight overs.
Deepak Hooda and Axar Patel’s batting effort has been praised by all and their utility is there to be seen.
Shivam Mavi’s dream debut is certainly a big relief for skipper Pandya, who could be praised for taking the new ball and delivering an incisive first spell alongside the newcomer.
Mavi (4/22), with her ability to swing the ball, and Omran MalikThe raw pace of (2/27) is a welcome addition to this T20 playing XI and looks like a long-term investment for the T20 World Cup 2024.
However, the worry will be annoying Yuzvendra Chahalwho must have lost a bit of self-confidence after being passed over in the T20 World Cup.
In fact, Chahal went for 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 SamarawickramaKusal 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)