The opening match of the Nidahas Trophy came as a wake-up call for the complacent Indian side. And dare I say, it was the need of the hour!
Riding on their terrific form in recent times, India had indeed become a bit complacent. Their recent victories probably led them take it for granted that they would still manage to get over the line by fielding a below-par side. Considering the tournament to be a low-key affair, they rested their key players in Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.
However, a rejuvenated Sri Lankan side, that has turned the tide in its favour in 2018 after a couple of forgettable years, were there to prove a point. They said it loud and clear that they are still a competitive side, capable of beating any team on their day. Kusal Parera (66) came out roaring, smashing 27 runs in an over of Shardul Thakur in one of the better T20 knocks you will ever see. He was assisted by a quick-fire contribution from former captain Thisara Parera (22) lower down the order to hand the Lankans a 5-wicket victory.
The Indian bowling looked a little lacklustre in the absence of Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar. Skipper Rohit Sharma did not know who to look towards when the going got tough. Washington Sundar was the pick of the bowlers for the Men in Blue with his crafty off-breaks, picking up a couple of useful wickets.
Rohit and Co have only a day off to regroup and plug their loopholes before they lock horns with Bangladesh on Thursday.