It’s not about blaming Arshdeep but no-balls in any format is a crime: Hardik Pandya

Bowling no balls in any format is a crime, said India skipper Hardik Pandya, adding that he was not about blaming Arshdeep Singh but the young pacer needs to go back and rectify his basic errors.

India slumped to a 16-run loss in the second T20I as Sri Lanka levelled the three-match series 1-1.

Returning to the side after missing the opener, Arshdeep looked rusty and bowled as many as five no balls in his two overs, giving away 37 runs.

“You can have a good day, you can have a bad day, but you shouldn’t be moving away from the basics. For Arshdeep, in this situation, it is very difficult. In past as well he’s bowled no-balls,” Pandya said at the post-match presentation.

“It is not about blaming him or to be too hard on him, but we know no-balls in any format is a crime.” Pandya felt India were not up to the mark in the powerplays both while bowling and batting.

“Both in bowling and batting, the powerplay hurt us. We made some basic errors, which we shouldn’t be making at this level. Everyone knows what it is. The learning for us is we should be focussing on what we can control,” he said.

On debutant Rahul Tripathi being sent to bat at number three, Pandya said: “Rahul is accustomed to playing at no. 3, and someone coming in, we want to give them a role they are comfortable with. That’s why he batted at No. 3.” Dasun Shanaka led from the front, staring with the bat and ball both.

The Sri Lankan skipper, who hit a 22-ball 56 before defending 21 off the last over, was adjudged the player of the match.

“We could’ve done well in the middle part. Game was set by the openers. Need to play well in the middle order to allow finishers to finish well,” Shanaka said.

He lavished praise on Axar Patel and Suryakumar Yadav, who stitched a 91-run sixth wicket stand to almost take the game away from Sri Lanka.

“It’s not the dew factor, it’s the skill of Indian batters. They took the game away from us but still we managed to hold the nerve. Really good to defend the total especially against India in these conditions.”

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