India lost the first T20I of Nidahas Trophy 2018 against Sri Lanka. The hosts thrashed 'Men in Blue' by 5 wickets. Kusal Perera's match-winning 66 off 37 balls turned out to be crucial with Thisara Perera's cameo in the end. Indian bowlers failed to control run flow and that cost them the match. For India, it was Washington Sundar who picked up 2 wickets, giving away 28 runs.
Earlier, opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan scored 90 off 49 deliveries after his partner and India's skipper Rohit Sharma got dismissed on zero. India scored 174/5 which never looked enough following a poor show with the ball. The score could have been more had the young wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant batted as per his reputation. Pant scored run-a-ball 23, coming in at a crucial stage. The platform was set for the 20-year-old, but he failed to make the most of it.
Twitter was harsh on Pant after a slow innings. Pant, who is often said to be MS Dhoni's replacement in the years to come, was struggling in the middle and Twitteratis joked about it.
So how many will blame Rishabh Pant for today's loss ?— Bhupesh Dave (@Bhupesh_live) March 6, 2018
Like they do always with MS Dhoni .
This guy need to work on his fitness . #SLvIND
Imagine Dhoni playing a Rishabh Pant like innings, and we would have had ‘legends’ like Agarkar and Manjrekar asking for his retirement! Well, that’s also because, people notice such experts only with such comments. Not that Pant is not good. #IndvSL— Nikhil Kharoo (@nkharoo) March 6, 2018
God Forbid but if Dhoni would have played this kind of run a ball innings, people would have termed it as Test Innings in a T20. But now since it is Rishabh Pant, we can all chill. #INDvSL #NidahasTrophy— Abbas Haider (@abbas_haiderr) March 6, 2018
23 runs of 23 balls in a T20 with a strike rate of 100. Dhoni should retire.— Neelkanth (@neelkanthh9) March 6, 2018
Arre sorry ye to Rishabh Pant hai.
Long way to go for this young lad.#SLvIND
However, the Delhi cricketer found support from former India cricketer Aakash Chopra. Chopra thinks it is not fair to lash out at Pant without giving him proper chances.
Also, it’s incredible to see how many people are happy with Rishabh Pant not having a great game. Imagine if the world wanted you to fail when you were 20. #SLvIND— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) March 6, 2018