Aakash Chopra feels Shikhar Dhawan was more deserving of the Man of the Match award than Prithvi Shaw in the first India-Sri Lanka ODI. The cricketer-turned-commentator said Dhawan’s unbeaten 86 was not only ‘match-winning’ in itself but also laid the platform for his teammates to freely express themselves.
Chasing 263, India got off to a superb start courtesy of Prithvi Shaw’s quickfire 24-ball 43. Dhawan began slowly but hunkered down at one end, allowing Ishan Kishan’s half-century, Manish Pandey’s 26 and Suryakumar Yadav’s 31* at the other. India won the game within 37 overs, losing only three wickets in the process.
“I believe Shikhar Dhawan should have won the Man of the Match award because he was unbeaten till the end. If he had got out early, the 43 [by Prithvi Shaw] and Ishan Kishan’s 59 would have been seen from an entirely different perspective because the lower middle-order is still a bit inexperienced. It should have been Shikhar Dhawan, it was a match-winning knock and also a lesson for everyone else that if you get a start, make it count because a small and beautiful innings [is well and good] but if you want to play a towering knock, you’ll have to be there till the end,” Aakash Chopra said in an interaction on ESPNcricinfo.
Although the batsmen made sure India won the game comfortably, it was the bowlers who ensured the target wasn’t too testing for the young team. The three spinners, Deepak Chahar and Hardik Pandya were all among the wickets in the first innings and chipped in with crucial contributions.
Want Surykumar Yadav to win the Man of the Match in the 2nd ODI: Aakash Chopra
When asked who he would like to win the game for India in the second ODI, Aakash Chopra chose Suryakumar Yadav. He hopes that if given more time at the crease, the middle-order batsman will score a few runs and make selectors take notice of him for the T20 World Cup.
“Speaking of the second match, Ishan Kishan has played well, I have a lot of expectations from Prithvi Shaw, I like him a lot but I want it (Man of the Match) to be Suryakumar Yadav. I hope he’ll score runs if he gets a bit more time and throws his name in the hat for World T20,” Aakash Chopra signed off.
The second ODI will kick off at 3 PM IST on Tuesday.