It’s not about blaming Arshdeep, but no balls in any size is a crime: Hardik Pandya

Bowling without balls in any form is a crime, said Indian skipper Hardik Pandya, adding that he did not want to blame Arshdeep Singh, but that the young pacesetter should go back and correct his basic mistakes.

India fell to a 16-run loss in the second T20I as Sri Lanka tied the three-game series 1–1.

Returning to the side after missing the opener, Arshdeep looked rusty and bowled an impressive five no balls in his two overs, giving away 37 runs.

“You can have a good day, you can have a bad day, but you shouldn’t deviate from the basics. It is very difficult for Arshdeep in this situation. He has also bowled no-balls in the past,” said Pandya during the post-match presentation.

“It’s not about blaming him or being too hard on him, but we know that no-balls in any form is a crime.” Pandya felt that India was not good enough in the power plays both in bowling and batting.

“Both bowling and batting, the power play hurt us. We made some fundamental mistakes that we shouldn’t be making at this level. Everyone knows what it is. The learning for us is that we have to focus on what we can control,” he said.

When debutant Rahul Tripathi was sent to bat at number three, Pandya said, “Rahul is used to playing at number three. 3, and someone coming in, we want to give them a role that they’re comfortable with. That’s why he hit number 3.” Dasun Shanaka led from the front, staring with both the bat and the ball.

The Sri Lankan skipper, who hit a 22-ball 56 before defending 21 in the last over, was named player of the match.

“We could have done well in the middle. The game was determined by the openers. You have to play well in the middle order for finishers to finish well,” said Shanaka.

He praised Axar Patel and Suryakumar Yadav, who sewed a 91-run sixth wicket stand to nearly take the match away from Sri Lanka.

“It’s not the dew factor, it’s the skill of Indian batters. They took the game away from us, but we still managed to keep our spirits up. Really good to defend the total, especially against India in these circumstances.”

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