Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal lauded Shikhar Dhawan’s captaincy in the India’s first Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka on Sunday, saying he saw shades of MS Dhoni in Dhawan. India posted 165 in the game before bowling out Sri Lanka for 126 to win the game.
“Shikhar Dhawan’s captaincy in the first T20I was really good. The bowling changes and field placings were impressive. Dhawan seems like a cool captain. In fact, I can see shades of MS Dhoni in Dhawan’s calm and composed captaincy. He took excellent decisions under pressure and did not panic even after Sri Lanka got off to a quick start. To win by 38 runs after the Lankans were 20 for no loss after two overs was an excellent effort and, Dhawan must get some credit for it. Of course, the bowlers were also brilliant," Akmal said in his YouTube video.
“Sri Lanka were playing well but, we knew our spinners will get some turn. Yuzi (Yuzvendra Chahal) and KP (Krunal Pandya) bowled really well. And even Varun (Chakravarthy), playing his first match."
Meanwhile, former Pakistan player Ramiz Raja blasted Sri Lanka for their poor performance in his YouTube channel.
“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.
“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."