Sri Lanka fielded as many as five all-rounders in the second T20I against India.
Former Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan feels that the Sri Lankan team needs an extra batsman in their XI as their team is becoming too all-rounder heavy.
Sri Lanka recorded a four-wicket win against India in the second T20I to level the series 1-1, however, despite the win, Sri Lanka’s team combination looked imbalanced, with the unit having as many as five all-rounders in the team.
“I still think they are one batsman short. I feel like that because there are too many all-rounders. I think they should play six batsmen. They played just five [in the second T20I]. That’s my feeling, maybe I am wrong because I am not a selector or [I am not] in the tram, but I just feel like that. So, better to have a top-order batsman and then the all-rounders can come and do their job,” Muralitharan told ESPNcricinfo.
However, he also suggested that it would not be a bad idea to field the same XI given that Sri Lanka has not won too many games of late. Having won the second T20I might prompt the management to do no tinkering and back the same players. “Also, maybe, they might keep the same team because they have won hardly. So, maybe they can go with the flow and keep the same team, the winning team,” he added.
India fielded a new-look XI
Meanwhile, India had to make wholesale changes as Krunal Pandya contracting with Covid-19 meant that he and each one of his eight close contacts was ruled put for the second game, and despite having 25 players for the Sri Lanka tour, Indian team management found itself in a situation that forming an XI became a task as
Subsequently, even though all other players of the team tested negative, the BCCI decided to isolate each one of Pandya’s close contacts. With most of India’s first-choice players already not a part of this tour, the exits of Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Prithvi Shaw, Deepak Chahar, Krishnappa Gowtham, Ishan Kishan, Yuzvendra Chahal left India further toned down.
Neither of these players will be available for the third T20I, which takes place at the same venue on July 29.