“Team India would have happier had they won the game with 3-4 wickets down”

Wasim Jaffer reckons that while Team India won the Kolkata ODI against Sri Lanka rather comfortably, they would have been happier had they lost fewer wickets in the chase. The former opener stated that there were some soft dismissals, which the hosts could have avoided.

The Men in Blue beat Sri Lanka by four wickets in the second one-dayer at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday, January 12. Bowling first after losing the toss, India held the Lankans to 215 and chased down the target in 43.2 overs, losing six wickets.

With the triumph in Kolkata, Team India also clinched the three-match series 2-0. While praising the team’s bowling performance, Jaffer opined that the batters could have been more clinical. During a discussion on ESPNcricinfo, he commented:

“On the batting front, Team India would have been happier had they won the game with 3-4 wickets down. It went down till the sixth wicket. More than a couple would have been soft dismissals they would like to forget. All in all, a strong performance. The bowling stood out. And then, KL coming back to form, Team India will be pleased about it.”

Chasing 216, India were four down for 86 in the 15th over. KL Rahul (64*) and Hardik Pandya (36 off 53) then lifted the batting side with a fifth-wicket stand of 75. Axar Patel also chipped in with a run-a-ball 21 as Sri Lanka were left to rue a poor batting effort.

“Kuldeep Yadav should be in the white-ball team every time” – Wasim Jaffer hails Team India spinner

Left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who was drafted into the playing XI after Yuzvendra Chahal was ruled unfit, grabbed his opportunity with both hands again. He claimed 3/51 and was named Player of the Match. Praising the 28-year-old, Jaffer commented:

“I always stress on the point that Kuldeep Yadav should be in the white-ball team every time India plays. He did prove his point. For somebody who hardly gets a game, it’s very hard for him to come back again and keep performing every time he gets that limited opportunity. He does that so well.

“In white-ball cricket, there are not many batters who can pick the googly and leg-spin really well. So, it’s not surprising that Kuldeep is so effective. It’s heartening to see. If I had to pick somebody to take wickets in the middle overs, I would pick Kuldeep.”

Kuldeep got the big wickets of Kusal Mendis, Charith Asalanka and Dasun Shanaka to break the back of Sri Lanka’s batting.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert

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