Former Pakistan cricketer and commentator Ramiz Raja criticized the Sri Lankan team after a disappointing 38-run defeat to India in the first T20I on Sunday in Colombo. Sri Lanka failed to chase 165-run target despite a decent start and surrendered with 126 (18.3 overs).
Sri Lanka failed to withstand India’s bowling attack while Indian bowlers maintained a rhythm with the wicket dismissals. Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck with 4 for 22 while Deepak Chahar picked up 2 wickets as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 126 in 18.3 overs. Krunal Pandya, Varun Chakravarthy, Hardik Pandya and Yuzvendra Chahal managed to grab singles.
In his latest YouTube video, Raja questioned the planning and approach of Dasun Shanaka-led side while chasing a 165-run target.
“When India scored 160-odd, they would have thought of winning this because you can expect Sri Lanka to commit mistakes frequently. To chase a target like this, you needed one or two partnerships. At least one batsman should have scored 70-odd runs and you could have crossed the line. But there was no strategy from this Sri Lankan team.
“If you can’t chase 160 at home, where will you? And losing a game shatters the confidence of the team. To bring new players into a losing environment is dangerous. An unhappy environment in the dressing room squeezes your confidence and fearlessness. So, it is important for Sri Lanka to start preparing wickets that challenge India,” Ramiz said.
Raja stated that the Sri Lankan team needs to come up with a strategy to make a impactful comeback, adding that they need to win matches at home.
“This could be a tough series for Sri Lanka. They need to do something now. Especially, the middle-order needs to score runs. Similarly, while bowling, you cannot bowl well in patches. You need to be consistent. Spin did work for them but there was no consistency and succumbed to pressure. There’s no point in playing at home if you can’t score 160,” Raja concluded.