Asia Cup 2022: Looking at the reasons where India lost the plot to Sri Lanka

On Tuesday, India lost their second Super Four match in Asia Cup 2022 to Sri Lanka by six wickets at Dubai International Stadium.

Just as was the case in their five-wicket loss to Pakistan, the defending champions were unable to defend their score of 173/8, losing with a ball to spare and leaving their hopes of reaching the Asia Cup 2022 final at the outcome of other matches, including on Wednesday’s match between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

IANS takes a look at the reasons where India lost the plot to Sri Lanka and find themselves now on the brink of elimination from Asia Cup 2022:

Top-order struggle:

In last year’s T20 World Cup in the UAE, India were undone by facing left-arm pace bowling and spin in early stage of their innings. The same story was repeated against Sri Lanka. Off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana had trapped KL Rahul lbw in the second over.

In the next over, left-arm pacer Dilshan Madushanka got one to come in and shatter Virat Kohli’s stumps for nought. India’s power-play score was 44/2, which was low in comparison to Sri Lanka’s 56/0.

For a side whose base of ultra-attacking approach came from going hard and big at the start, which gave them good results in the past matches, the first six overs performance against Sri Lanka threw a spanner in their well-laid plans.Not being able to finish well:

Rohit Sharma struck the ball well in his dazzling knock of 72 off just 41 balls and shared a crucial 97-run stand with Suryakumar Yadav. But once Rohit fell at 110/3, India’s innings just went downhill as Sri Lanka bowlers used the slower deliveries to good effect to pick five wickets in last six overs.

Suryakumar was undone by a slower bouncer. Hardik Pandya whipped straight to fielder in the deep. Deepak Hooda, not used to playing the finisher role, was castled while Rishabh Pant mis-hit to be caught in the deep as India’s finishing fireworks didn’t come off.

“The way we batted in the first six overs, we couldn’t score as many as we wanted to because we lost wickets. After that we got a bit of momentum and then after that we should’ve capitalised well. After the seven-eight overs after Powerplay (from seven to 12/13), we couldn’t close the game with our batting,” admitted Rohit.

Bhuvneshwar ineffective in death overs:

In successive matches, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been far from his best in death overs. Against Pakistan in the Super Four match on Sunday, Bhuvneshwar gave away 19 runs in the penultimate over to leave just seven runs in the last over for Arshdeep Singh to defend.

Against Sri Lanka, despite India picking four wickets for 13 runs in the middle overs, Bhuvneshwar conceded 14 runs in the penultimate over, smashed for fours on over-pitched deliveries apart from a brace of wides and again leaving seven runs in the final over for Arshdeep to defend.

“Experienced batsmen get out and bowlers leak runs as well, these things are normal and happen. Bhuvi has been playing for so long, and has worked for us for so many years in the death overs and won us games. So we should not judge him on two or three games,” said Rohit.

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