India take on Sri Lanka in 5th & final match of T20 blind cricket series today
India take on Sri Lanka in the fifth and final match of the T20 blind cricket series in Faridabad.
India looks set to sweep the series, 5-0. It won the fourth match that was played in Ludhiana on Saturday, beating Lanka by 7 wickets.
There was much interest in the Ludhiana match given that local boy Kapil Dev was making his debut. 29-year-old Dev is the first blind cricketer from Punjab to make it to the national team. His performance at the last national blind cricket tournament in Panchkula paved the way for his presence in the national team.
However, Dev failed to make much of a mark, but captain Ajay Reddy put it down to tension over the debut match.
Dev was a bit slow and out of rhythm in the first over. When I asked him why, he said he was nervous and settling in. Later he played well. We have to give the new players a chance to get over the debut tension like this. - Ajay Reddy, Captain, Indian blind cricket team
The last match will see the debut of Sikander Shah, a B2 (partially blind) player as wicketkeeper. The Cricket Association of the Blind has used the ongoing series against Lanka as well as the Blind Tri Series as an opportunity to check out new players ahead of the Blind Cricket World Cup.
In the Tri Series many players like Anil Garia and Pankaj Bhue made a mark. However, on the whole, John David, General Secretary, Cricket Association for the Blind, is unsure of how many of the new players would finally make it to the national side.
"We want to give an opportunity to local players and we have done that in the last few matches. But very few have shown the potential to make it to the national side. If you compare the new boys, they don't even match up to 30% of the national players. And we have to keep that in mind because in the World Cup, we will have to prove ourselves against tough teams like Pakistan."
India and Sri Lanka will next go on to face each other in three day-night one day international matches. The first one is on 23 October in New Delhi.