Newly appointed skipper Shikhar Dhawan took a well-judged running catch to dismiss debutant Bhanuka Rajapaksa. Following the dismissal, he brought out his traditional ‘thigh-five’.
Sri Lanka got off to a good start on what looks like a flat track at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Avishka Fernando kept the scoreboard ticking before getting dismissed by Yuzvendra Chahal. In walked first-timer, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who looked very comfortable at the crease.
He was devoid of nerves and took the attack to the Indian spinners. Soon, he played one shot too many which resulted in his dismissal. Off a Kuldeep Yadav’s half-tracker, Rajapaksa tried to pull the ball over mid-wicket. It was too wide to be pulled, however, and Rajapaksa only managed a top-edge off it.
Shikhar Dhawan, stationed at short mid-wicket, rushed down the field to grab on to an excellent catch. The captain led by example and sent Rajapaksa packing. It was a confidence booster for Kuldeep since he has been on the downlow lately.
Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav are playing together for the first time in nearly 23 months
A much anticipated decision prior to the game was whether Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal would be playing together. To the joy of many Indian fans, the answer turned out to be yes. They stepped out on to the pitch for the first time since the 2019 ODI World Cup.
Former cricketer Aakash Chopra had expressed his opinion on the matter. He was positive about seeing them together, since they are strong in the middle-overs phase.
“I don’t think there will be a better opportunity to play them together. Why were they included in the first place? Because Ashwin and Jaddu (Jadeja) weren’t able to pick wickets in the middle-overs. If you don’t take wickets in the beginning or in the middle-overs, the death overs would prove to be costly. That’s why they (Kulcha) were played in the first place,” he noted.