SL vs IND, 1st ODI: Dhawan hails batsmen, spinners after comprehensive win

India captain Shikhar Dhawan says he thoroughly enjoyed watching young batsmen toying with the Sri Lankan bowling attack during the first ODI in Colombo.

Shikhar Dhawan (left) smiles as Ishan Kishan raises his bat after reaching fifty, during the first ODI in Colombo on Sunday. - AP

India captain Shikhar Dhawan said he thoroughly enjoyed watching from the non-striker's end as his younger partners toyed with the Sri Lankan bowlers in the first ODI in Colombo.

India defeated Sri Lanka by seven wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.


"All our boys, most of them have played earlier and they are very matured and aggressive as well. The way they played the game today was tremendous. And I was very happy with their efforts," Dhawan said after the contest.

REPORT - Kishan registers second-fastest ODI fifty by a debutant

Opting to bat, Sri Lanka was restricted to 262 for nine, with pacer Deepak Chahar (2 for 37), and spinners Kuldeep Yadav (2 for 48) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2 for 52) picking two wickets each.

India overhauled the target in 36.4 overs, riding on Dhawan's unbeaten 86, debutant Ishan Kishan's blistering 59 and opener Prithvi Shaw's 43.


Dhawan praised the spin trio - including Krunal Pandya - for bringing his side back into the game.

"We knew that the wicket had a bit of turn, but the way (our) spinners bowled from the 10th over, they got us back straightaway and they took wickets and all the three spinners did amazing and then later our fast bowlers did a great job," Dhawan added.

He said he enjoyed Shaw and Kishan's batting from the non-striker's end.

"When we batted, I guess it was lovely to stand on the other end and see Prithvi going for the first seven overs and then Ishan coming in and playing his first ball of ODI cricket and I was telling him to take it easy," he quipped.

"The way Prithvi as well as Ishan batted today, it was tremendous and they finished the game in the first 15 overs only. We were just knocking around (then)," said Dhawan.

Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka blamed his batters for the defeat, saying they couldn't get the rhythm going.

"Yes, actually, earlier on we started really well but it was hanging a bit, they (Indian bowlers) varied the pace really well. So, I think our batsmen couldn't get the rhythm going on," he said.

Shanaka also praised the Indian players for being aggressive.

"The way Indian players played, they are really aggressive and the kind of cricket they are playing is really good at the moment. We all know how good they are but our bowlers need to lift our bowling phase," added Shanaka.

The second ODI of the three-match series will be held on July 20 at the same venue.

We knew India would attack us - C. Karunaratne

Sri Lanka batsman Chamika Karunaratne said he knew India would attack his side in the ODI series as it was a top team.

"We tried to get wickets rather than bowl dot balls. We tried to use our bouncers and our pace. They are a top team and we knew they would attack us. If we'd taken wickets we would have been able to pull them back. We were able to get one in the Powerplay, and if we'd had another one or two in the Powerplay we would have been able to change the game a little bit," Karunaratne said during a virtual post-match press conference.

Earlier, India kept on taking wickets at regular intervals, but Chamika Karunaratne's unbeaten 43-run knock helped Sri Lanka post 262 for 9. For India, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Deepak Chahar returned with two wickets each.

"A lot of our batsmen got good starts, but a lot of us weren't able to continue. We were trying to play longer innings, even when I was batting with Dasun Shanaka in the 42nd or 43rd over I asked him if I should go for some big shots, but he told me to wait until the 45th over. If more of our batsmen had been able to bat longer, we could have attacked earlier and gone for a bigger score. We do have the ability to get to 300 or 350, and hopefully, that will happen in the next games," said Karunaratne.

"This wicket was playing a bit slow, so we did talk during our innings about putting the ball into gaps and running hard a little bit more. But they also bowled really well. They bowled in good areas and their captain managed the field well," he added.


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