India have started positively in the second match against the hosts Sri Lanka. After 9 players were ruled out of the series due to being placed in isolation due to COVID, India had to play 4 debutants. The 4 debutants for India are Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Chetan Sakariya and Nitish Rana.
While Gaikwad, Padikkal and Rana are batsmen, Sakariya is the bowler. Furthermore India are playing this game with just 5 specialist batsmen. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar will bat at number 6 in this match when his usual batting position is number 9!
Rituraj Gaikwad and Shikhar Dhawan opened the innings for India. The duo started comfortable and added 49 runs in 7 overs. Gaikwad played some catchy shots but was dismissed while trying to play a pull shot. He made 21 runs in 18 balls and was sent back to the pavilion by the Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka. The bowler bowled a short ball as Gaikwad attempted to pull. However he was beaten by the pace and could only give a simple catch to the wicket keeper.
The number 3 batsman for India was Devdutt Padikkal who is also termed as the player to watch out for over the decade. He was welcomed by a brilliant delivery that turned late and squared the batsman up.
On the last ball of the 11th over, Padikkal showed just why is he rated so highly. Akila Dananjaya bowled a full ball to the left handed batsman. Instantly he sat down on one knee and smashed a slow sweep that went sailing over the mid wicket for a huge six. The six was measured at 76 meters.
When the shot was hit, the camera immediately panned towards Rahul Dravid. He looked both shocked and in disbelief due to the distance it travelled. He was also relieved as India needed quick runs to put the pressure back on Sri Lanka as run shad dried up in the last few overs.
Watch the six here :
Devdutt Padikkal hits the first MAXIMUM of the game! 🙌
First for him in international cricket as well
— Sony Sports (@SonySportsIndia) July 28, 2021