Team India have enjoyed supreme form in the ongoing Asia Cup, defeating arch rivals Pakistan by 228 runs and then defending a modest 213 against defending champions Sri Lanka. The two victories in the Super 4 stage ensured India a final berth, however, the unit endured a six-run hiccup against Bangladesh right before they meet Sri Lanka in the summit clash on Sunday.
The team made a host of changes for the clash, which was played at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Giving rest to the regulars, the team made four changes bringing in Tilak Varma, Suryakumar Yadav, Mohammed Shami, and Prasidh Krishna in the XI. The move didn’t pay much yield as Tilak was dismissed for a single-digit score, while Suryakumar missed out on yet another opportunity to make his case stronger in the 50-over format.
The middle-order batter was cleaned up for 26(34) by Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan as India were bundled out for 259 in 49.5 overs while chasing 266.
Not everything went bad for India as Shubman Gill smashed his fifth ODI ton, albeit it coming in a losing cause. Gill remained firm at one end as India kept losing wickets from the other. He was eventually dismissed by Mahedi Hasan in the 44th over for 121(133), leaving Axar Patel with the heavy lifting of taking the team home.
Following the match, Gill admitted that it should have been him, who should have taken the team home.
“Sometimes, there is so much adrenaline when you are batting, you miscalculate. It was a miscalculation on my part.
“But when I got out and there was a lot of time left, and if I would have batted not that aggressive then we should have gotten over the line. But these are learnings, and fortunately this game wasn’t the final,” said the batter at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Meanwhile, Axar too didn’t disappoint but he fell victim to a slower one by experienced pacer Mustafizur Rahman, which diminished all hopes for India. Axar got out for 42(34) balls in the penultimate over. With India still requiring 12 from eight balls all Shami and Krishna, the final Indian pair, could do was add five more runs to India’s tally.