The lack of intent in Sri Lanka’s play was evident today and their regular phrase “learning” period seemed like a fluke. In a completely one-sided encounter, the hosts didn’t have to break a sweat while defending 180 runs and bundled the Lankans out for an embarrassing score of 87 runs.
Rohit Sharma - (6/10 ): The Indian skipper had an off-day. After losing the battle of luck, Rohit could only manage a score of 17 runs before mistiming a shot to mid-on. Although he was confident in his approach during his brief stay, he was to be blamed for not converting that to a good score.
KL Rahul - (8.5/10): Rahul must be a happy man today. The wonderfully gifted batsman became the youngest to score international hundreds in all three formats of the game, but after some failure and injuries, he now finds himself out of the ODI team and the chance in Cuttack gifted him with an opportunity to do well and boy did he just make that count. While his 61 runs laid the foundation for a big total, he also made sure that he has the ability to be a match-winner for the team.
Shreyas Iyer -(7/10): He has grit, he has technique, but he needs to add patience to his arsenal. The Mumbaikar started well today, just as he had in the last two matches of the ODI series, but threw away his good start to get out for a paltry 24 runs. Nonetheless, he is the man for the future and needs to be nurtured well by the team management.
MS Dhoni - (9/10): What a day the former Indian skipper had! His 39 runs off 22 balls helped India reach a formidable total of 180 runs. But if that was not enough of a contribution, Dhoni was involved in four dismissals behind the stumps surpassing AB de Villiers’ record of effecting highest dismissals on the field in T20 cricket – as a fielder or wicket-keeper.
Manish Pandey - (8/10): Pandey was excellent today and after the Sri Lankan skipper put India in a shell after the powerplay overs through his assortment of bowlers, the 28-year-old bailed India out through his orthodox stroke play. While Dhoni gave the late impetus, he was the first one to unleash the fireworks and was instrumental in India putting up a very good total on the board.
Dinesh Karthik - (6/10): Although the Tamil Nadu batsman could not get a chance to bat today, he was a livewire on the field.
Hardik Pandya - (6.5/10): His services with the bat were not required today. However, the Baroda all-rounder opened the bowling for India and gave away only 29 runs while picking up three wickets. He kept bowling at impressive lengths and most importantly didn’t let the visitors seize the momentum at any point in the game.
Jaydev Unadkat - (7/10): The Saurashtra pacer’s international career is a topic for an intensive case study. After making his debut in 2010, he is yet to be a familiar name even among the diehard fans, but today’s two-over performance underlined the story that might have been. He gave away only seven runs and picked up the wicket of Niroshan Dickwella to secure his first ever T20I wicket.
Kuldeep Yadav - (7.5/10): Yadav was a precise miser today. While picking two wickets in four overs, he just spent 18 runs and made sure that the talk of dew was redundant for India. The way he set up Dasun Shanaka by luring him with full balls talks about his growth as a thinking bowler in the shortest format of the game.
Yuzvendra Chahal - (9.5/10): The Haryana leggie was awarded the man of the match prize and rightly so. Not only did he pick up four wickets for just 23 in four overs, he bowled his wrong ‘uns well and gave an example for Sri Lanka that intent is important to play at the international level.
Jasprit Bumrah - (7.5/10): The highest ranking T20 bowler was the spearhead of the attack, but the juniors decided to give him a rest day. But he is Bumrah and he doesn’t sit idle. He only spent 10 runs in two overs and that was enough for him to contribute to India’s 93-run victory.
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