It was India all the way at the JSCA Stadium in Ranchi as MS Dhoni and his men dominated Sri Lanka in all departments of the game in the second T20 on Friday. They won the match comprehensively by 69 runs.
India could not do anything wrong in the second T20 and Dhoni made some crucial decisions during the game. Promoting Hardik Pandya up the order might have been a risky affair, but the right-hander showed his skills with the bat, scoring an important 12-ball 27 to further up the ante and unsettle Sri Lanka bowlers.
Such thinking by the India captain reflects that he has his thought-process well in line for the upcoming World T20 in March. Such strategy of trying out new things with the batting order seems logical with India's top order batsmen having enjoyed considerable success in recent times.
Dhoni, during the post-match presentation, when asked if he is 'experiementing' with the side before the World T20, said, "Experimenting is a word banned from Indian cricket, but yes we're trying different things.
"Our top order has done well when it comes to batting so whatever opportunities we are getting; we are trying to give everybody a bit of time."
Despite the poor outfield conditions, India players were seen giving their all in the field. With fielders like Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Ajinkya Rahane in their ranks, India can save important runs in the field.
"We do commit errors on the field. Most of our fielders are above average. Sometimes in T20s, even the slower ones can get away because more often or not the ball is hit hard. But yes, fielding is very important," Dhoni said.
Though India bowled and fielded well, it was the batsmen, who contributed immensely in India's win. Right from the start, they looked in great touch with Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit taking the attack to the Lankan bowlers, who had troubled the India batsmen in the first T20.
Among all the batsmen, it was Dhawan, who thrashed the Lankan bowlers all around the park. There was a sense of confidence when the left-hander was attacking these bowlers. He scored an impressive 51 from 25 balls, which included seven fours and two sixes. This was his first half-century in T20I cricket.
"I enjoyed batting here. Happy to have got my first T20I fifty. I was hitting the ball well. I like to play my natural game. I got a lot of support from the captain and the coaching staff." Dhawan said.
India will need to carry this confidence into Visakhapatnam, where the series decider is set to take place on Sunday.