After the game, the India opener reflected on the problematic situation compounded by COVID-19 and hailed the side for triumphing over the adversities and putting up a contest.
Shikhar Dhawan was undone by terrible luck after nine of his top players were ruled out of the series. On Tuesday, Krunal Pandya tested positive for COVID-19, and the second T20I was rescheduled for Wednesday.
Eight other players – Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Prithvi Shaw, Deepak Chahar, Krishnappa Gowtham, Ishan Kishan and Yuzvendra Chahal – were ruled out of the series for coming into close contact with the all-rounder.
Despite the adversities, the BCCI and the Indian team management decided to continue with the series. Team India were forced to form their XI out of the spare members in the squad.
“It was a difficult situation for us, but as a team, we decided we will stay and play the series. I’m really proud of the boys as well. They showed great character in the last two games. Their attitude was tremendous, and we wanted to win as well. In every game you learn,” said Shikhar Dhawan in the post-match presentation ceremony.
India had a disappointing outing in the final T20I after managing just 81 from their 20 overs. What didn’t help their cause was that they were forced to pick four specialist batters and six bowlers due to a shortage of resources.
Speaking about the match, Shikhar Dhawan added:
“Last game was a close one, today it was an off day for the batting unit, but the boys will learn from it. We lost too many wickets today and the Sri Lanka bowlers bowled well. When you lose early wickets and you don’t have a long batting, you are under pressure. We were glad that we got into the 80s.”
Shared my experience with the Sri Lanka guys: Shikhar Dhawan
With most of the senior members of the Indian national side in England, Shikhar Dhawan was entrusted with the responsibility to lead a young bunch. While the young Indian side won the ODIs 2-1, they lost the T20Is by the same margin.
Shikhar Dhawan applauded both sides for competing in the right spirit and also revealed that he shared his experience with the Sri Lankan side, who wanted to know his process.
“Both teams played in great spirit. It’s beautiful that we were competitive in the field, and respect was there. The Sri Lankan boys wanted to know what’s my process, I was just sharing my experience. I hope they enjoyed listening to it,” said Shikhar Dhawan, who signed off by congratulating the host.
India’s next limited-overs assignment will be the T20 World Cup in October. Starting August 4, they will lock horns against England in a five-Test series.