PUNE [MAHARASHTRA]: India head coach Rahul Dravid asked everyone to be patient with young players in his team who will have off days once in a while and will end up impacting the outcome of the match, picking up unwanted records in the process.
Youngsters like the team like Arshdeep Singh, Shubman Gill, Shivam Mavi and Rahul Tripathi had an off-day as India went down to Sri Lanka by 16 runs in the 2nd T20I here on Thursday night, leaving the three-match series evenly poised 1-1.
Arshdeep bowled five no-balls in the second T20I against Sri Lanka at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Thursday night, becoming only the second bowler after Hamish Rutherford to bowl so many no-balls in a T20 international match involving ICC full member countries.
He also ended up conceding 37 runs in two overs as Sri Lankan opener Kusal Mendis took full advantage of the three free-hits to smack him all around the ground, taking 17 runs in his first over. Arshdeep returned to bowl a couple of more no-balls in the 19th over of the innings as India allowed Sri Lanka to raise 206/6 in 20 overs.
In response, India lost early wickets -- losing Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill and Rahul Tripathi cheaply and though Axar Patel (65) and Suryakumar Yadav (51) helped them recover, the hosts fell short and lost by 16 runs.
David said young players should not be blamed for the defeat.
"We need to be patient with a lot of these young kids, There are a lot of youngsters playing in this team, especially our bowling attack. They are young kids, they will have games like this. We all need to be patient with them, we need to be understanding that games like this can happen," Dravid said in the post-match press conference on Thursday.
He said the young guns are improving but as international cricket is a tough competition and a huge learning experience for them, they are likely to have such off-days and advised everyone to be restrained and show patience.
"Of course, they are improving, we keep working hard and we need to help them and support them, technically, in whatever we can in terms of support and create the right environment and get the best of their skills. Very skilful, but they are learning, it's tough, it's not easy learning and playing international cricket and you have to learn on the job, So, yeah you got to have a little bit of patience with these guys."
"The good thing is this year a lot of focus is going to be on the 50-over World Cup and the T20 games we have to give us the opportunity to try out these younger guys and hopefully give them opportunities and support them when they have tough games likes this, which they will (in future too)," said Dravid.
India had given debuts to three youngsters -- Gill, Mavi and Tripathi in the two T20Is played so far while Arshdeep played his first match after returning from illness.