After an initial hiccup in a modest run chase, India’s lower-middle order managed to hold its nerve and scraped through a four-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the second ODI at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
While the majority of top-order batters departed cheaply, KL Rahul, who has faced immense criticism owing to his lacklustre form in recent weeks, stood tall and got the hosts over the line with an unbeaten half-century.
A victory by 4️⃣ wickets for #TeamIndia in the second #INDvSL ODI here in Kolkata and the series is sealed 2️⃣-0️⃣ 👏👏
Scorecard ▶️ https://t.co/jm3ulz5Yr1 @mastercardindia pic.twitter.com/f8HvDZRJIY
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 12, 2023
Chasing a modest target of 216 runs, when India were reduced to 86 for four in the 15th over, there was a bit of a panic in the Indian dugout, but, in the end, it all ended well.
With the win, the Men in Blue have taken an insurmountable 2-0 lead in the three-match series but the former India opener Gautam Gambhir wasn’t pleased with the overall performance.
A much needed 50-run partnership for #TeamIndia comes up between @klrahul & @hardikpandya7.
Live – https://t.co/MY3Wc5253b #INDvSL @mastercardindia pic.twitter.com/PyHSwTth8v
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 12, 2023
Rather than lauding the team for wrapping up the series with a match to go, the former southpaw, during the post-match show, reminded everyone that the team shouldn’t get overexcited.
He insisted people shouldn’t forget that the Indian team entered this series on the back of two successive ODI series defeats in New Zealand and Bangladesh.
The southpaw even took a potshot at the former India captain, Virat Kohli, who scored a match-winning hundred in Guwahati, saying that the team’s focus should be on the overall performance rather than “individual brilliance”.
A step in the right direction. Great win.🙌 pic.twitter.com/WKQK7LmVsJ
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) January 10, 2023
Gambhir indicated that Kohli’s century in Bangladesh came in a dead rubber when India had already conceded the series and the only meaningful outcome of his hundred was that it boosted the batter’s confidence, other than that, it meant nothing.
“We should not forget that India had lost its last ODI series against Bangladesh. We have forgotten about it. Yes, individual brilliance is important, individual hundreds are important, it looks very nice when it comes to your record that you got your 50 hundreds or 100 hundreds, but you should never forget what has happened in Bangladesh. Because that is got to be a huge learning,” Gambhir said on Star Sports.
Good win. Super knock by Ishan. Onto the tests. 🇮🇳💪 pic.twitter.com/Yo1c2rEa4Q
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) December 10, 2022
“India’s full-strength losing to Bangladesh in Bangladesh, I think we should grow from there rather than focussing only on this series. What has happened in the past should not be forgotten,” he added.
Nobody expected a full-strength Indian team to lose an ODI series to Bangladesh and Gambhir said it was important to learn from the mistakes and ensure it didn’t happen again.
Not the first time, Gambhir has had an issue with Kohli’s individual brilliance. Even before the T20 World Cup, the former opener had advised the batting maestro to play for the team, not personal records.