India’s assistant coach Paras Mhambrey has stated the debutante duo of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devdutt Padikkal will be disappointed with their displays but they will learn with time. He also added that the medical team is assessing Navdeep Saini’s injury and a decision on him will be taken soon.
After the COVID crisis hit the Indian team, they were forced to hand over debut to four players – Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal, Nitish Rana, Chetan Sakariya – in the second T20I against Sri Lanka on Wednesday in Colombo. The debut of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devdutt Padikkal was highly anticipated, given their glittering displays in this year’s IPL. However, both the top-order batsmen failed to translate their starts into something special. While Gaikwad made 21 off 18, Padikkal scored 29 off 23 and their failures hurt India after the Men in Blue were forced to field only five available specialist batsmen.
India eventually scored 132, and the hosts, Sri Lanka were able to cross the line in a thriller and now the series stands level at 1-1 with the decider taking place today. Talking about the talented top-order duo, Paras Mhambrey, in the post-match presser, stated that they will be disappointed with their performances but will learn.
“Making debut for your country you will always be nervous. The discussion was to give them the free hand there was no pressure put on them by the team mangement. The situation was such that in terms of batting we only had six batsmen. But there were no instructions on how to play. The duo will be disappointed but they will learn,” Paras Mhambrey said in a virtual presser.
There was a lot of uncertainty around the second T20I and whether it will take place or not after as many as eight players were put into isolation as they were close contacts of Krunal Pandya, who had tested positive for COVID-19. It effectively reduced India to playing only five specialist batters with Bhuvneshwar Kumar batting at the #6 position. Paras Mhambrey added that the Men in Blue were prepared to play the game.
“The BCCI were in touch with Rahul Dravid and we were told that whatever decision will be taken it will be informed to us. So we were prepared that we might have to go ahead and play the game. So we went ahead with the preparations.”
While fielding at extra-cover, Navdeep Saini had injured his shoulder when he attempted to take a catch and had to be taken off the field. India’s assistant coach revealed that Saini is being assessed by the medical team.
“In Navdeep’s case, I think the medical team is handling him. We will assess the situation, maybe tonight or in the morning and take a decision accordingl. And I think, once the decision is finalised and conveyed to the selectors and the coach, I think we will go ahead and then if needed we need to make any changes, we will do that,” he added.