Nidahas Trophy: Hometown Starts Off In Fine Fashion
The match started with a diving catch from Jeevan Mendis at mid off to remove the mercurial Rohit Sharma. The match ended with a distraught looking Rohit Sharma shoulder in arms. Sharma was entrusted with making sure India “Team B” left the island with a trophy.
Kusal Perera has been injured for over a year. Having not been seen on an international broadcaster’s camera for a while, he was the main highlight reel after the game. His shots eclipsed all parts of the ground on the wagon-wheel. Having started out as a right handed batsman, nostalgia glistened the camera view when he reverse swept a short ball over fine leg. Destructive and arrogant.
One Perera pounded the bowling attack into submission, before leaving the ground with the remaining runs at a gettable required rate.
Another Perera, Thisara, stepped in to deal the killer blows. Both Pereras made the decision from BCCI to hand Sharma the captaincy look like a second guess.
Skipper Dinesh Chandimal will want to change very little ahead of their next fixture against Bangladesh. Bangladesh, however, are dissipated with energy during their home tour against Sri Lanka. Playing a bruised India next, some of that spark may return, courtesy of the venomous Mustafizur Rahman.
Sri Lanka have achieved another step in their brutal saga to eliminate the ‘still in transition’ tag. With the ongoing political warfare plaguing the fields of Kandy and beyond, cricket on the pitch has remained unfazed.
It is a gleeful symbol of cricket transcending a nation’s political fiasco.
Hope for India looked dire when Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma departed early. Shikhar Dhawan steadied the ship and slaughtered the Lankan bowlers to all parts. It was only Dhawan that withstood the pressure and got India to a commendable total.
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India will need reassurance from their youngsters that they can deliver or their future face a new challenge come the new era.
Selecting such a young squad may lead to their downfall as Sri Lanka, with a couple of hiccups, sauntered through to a victory.
It remains to be seen if India can turn against Bangladesh and prove the loss was just a coincidence.
The IPL is the next battlefield for these youngsters to show their mettle after the Nidahas Trophy. With franchise owners and coaches keeping tabs, they will not want to disappoint before such a global phenomena (as if the Nidahas Trophy wasn’t).
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