COLOMBO: Rahul Dravid, India's head coach for the Sri Lanka tour, has said wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson would be disappointed with the way he performed in the white-ball series.
Wanindu Hasaranga's four-wicket haul and Dhananjaya de Silva's unbeaten 23-run knock helped Sri Lanka defeat India by seven wickets in the third and final T20I. With this win, Sri Lanka won the series 2-1.
In the one ODI, Samson managed to score 46, while in the three T20Is, the right-handed batsman managed to score just 34 runs.
"I think, to be honest, not the easiest of the conditions to bat in for Sanju as well. Obviously, in the one ODI game, he got a chance in, he got off to a good start and he scored 46. But in the T20Is, probably, batting well in the first one, the wickets in the last two T20Is have been challenging. But yeah, I guess he will look back at this series and be a little disappointed. Having said that, not only Sanju, we need to be patient with these talented kids," said Dravid while replying to an ANI query during a virtual post-match press conference.
Earlier, Sri Lanka spinner Wanindu Hasaranga showed remarkable skills with the ball as the Indian batting line-up was restricted to a mediocre 81/8 in the allotted twenty overs. After being eight down for 63, Chetan Sakariya and Kuldeep Yadav ensured the visitors got over the 80-run mark.
"Today, to be honest, we did not bat really well and Wanindu Hasaranga upfront was exceptional, he has been exceptional right through the series, we just lost too many wickets and 81 was never going to be good enough. Sometimes in challenging conditions, you need to fight your way and make it to 130-140. I think that has been great learning for our young players," said Dravid.
Talking about the challenges of being in quarantine in Sri Lanka, Dravid said: "It has not been easy. We only played six matches in 45 days. For a variety of reasons, initially, some of the Sri Lanka players picked up COVID-19 so the series got postponed. It has been challenging, the boys have been under quarantine and bubbles. We have only seen the hotel, the ground, and even the hotel, only some parts of it, we have not been able to go to some parts of the hotel. Just a credit to the boys on how they maintained their spirit and enthusiasm."
"I cannot fault anyone for their effort. Just the way, Shikhar and Bhuvneshwar created the environment they did, deserves a lot of credit as well. You cannot fault them for their effort and energy. It was not an easy situation to be in, we are lucky to play cricket as well in times like these. We have seen people go through a lot of suffering, we feel blessed to do what we do," he added.