So, finally, it has ended. It was a bizarre series between India and Sri Lanka. There were COVID outbreaks in both the camps and the series was no less than a masala movie, with all the ups and downs. It eventually ended with India losing the T20I series after they started with a win.
Shikhar Dhawan – 5.5/10; 86 runs @ 28.66, SR: 108.86
When India were at full-strength in the first game, it still took help from Suryakumar Yadav for Dhawan to get going in the middle-overs, yet his SR was a sub-par 127.77. And in the last two games, when India needed their captain to step up, his defensive knock in the second game put youngster Ruturaj Gaikwad under pressure, while in the finale, he bagged a duck. The series did more harm than good for Dhawan's WT20 contention.
Prithvi Shaw - 3/10; duck in the only outing
Shaw was in scintillating touch in this year's IPL, but unfortunately, he got ruled out of the series after a COVID outbreak in the Indian camp. In his lone appearance, the explosive batter bagged a duck, with the moving ball haunting him yet again, which doesn't bode well for him ahead of the England Tests.
Ruturaj Gaikwad – 5/10; 35 runs @ 17.0, SR: 125
Ruturaj Gaikwad made a promising start to his international career. Batting at his usual opening position, he played some eye-catchy strokes and showed his class in both the games, especially the inside-out shot, was an absolute stunner. But, he failed to translate his flamboyance into big knocks on wickets that he's tailor-made to score runs, which was disappointing.
Devdutt Padikkal – 5/10; 38 runs @ 19.0, SR: 100
Sadly for Devdutt Padikkal, the most notable thing from his batting turned out to be his dismissal in the second game, when he got LBW and run-out on the same delivery, which was truly bizarre. He promised a lot at #3 in his debut game when he made a 23-ball 29, but in the second game, he failed to cash in on a golden opportunity with 19.2 overs remaining at the time of his arrival to the middle.
Suryakumar Yadav – 9/10; 50 off 34 in the only outing
Suryakumar Yadav further consolidated his position in the team when he top-scored for India in the T20I series opener, even when his control per cent hovered below 70. He played some outrageous shots, including a sweep of a medium pacer, and exhibited his class against the top-class bowling of Hasaranga.
Ishan Kishan – 8/10; 20* runs off 14 in his only game
One thing that separates Ishan Kishan from the other Indian youngsters - is his ability to capitalize on chances. Unfortunately, Ishan couldn't feature in more than a game, but his finishing prowess was decent in the first T20I, with the Pandya brothers struggling to get going.
Nitish Rana – 3/10; 15 runs @ 7.5, SR: 55.5
Nitish Rana batted at #5 in the series against Sri Lanka, but he wasn't as out of position as claimed, given he has played 22 innings at the #4 in the IPL. Quite simply, someone with experience of 124 games in T20 cricket should have fared better against spin, even on these difficult tracks, but the southpaw didn't get going at all. In the series-decider, he came out to bat with plenty of overs to spare, had a chance to leave an impact, but struggled en route to 6 off 15 and looked clueless against spin.
Sanju Samson - 3/10; 34 runs @ 11.33, SR: 94.4
One of the contenders for WT20, Samson was fortunate enough to play all the games, yet unfortunate, as he burnt down his chances, with no one else but himself to blame. It was an opportunity made in heaven - team under the pump, several overs remaining, good form with the bat - but all counted for nothing. Samson's selection has always been influenced by talent more than performances. He doesn't even have a single 500-run IPL season yet, and now, after his terrible run with India, it would require solid performances than mere glimpses of brilliance for him to get back into the reckoning.
Hardik Pandya - 3/10; 10 off 12 balls; 2-0-17-1
Hardik Pandya's woeful run continued with the bat, and in the only game he played, the right-hander struggled to time the ball. His batting needs an intervention of sorts, or else, with Ravindra Jadeja's return and the nature of the UAE decks, India might have to evaluate his place in the XI if his poor run continues.
Krunal Pandya – 3/10; 3* off 3 balls, 2-0-16-1
Krunal Pandya didn't get much time to bat in the middle in the first T20I, while with the ball too, he just got to bowl two overs. And then, unfortunately for him, he was tested COVID positive. However, in all his displays, till now, he hasn't done anything substantial to challenge Jadeja yet.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar - 8/10; 5 wickets, ER: 5.47; 29 runs, SR: 67.44
The Indian swinger was amongst wickets in the series and showed good control. However, Bhuvi didn't get many scalps in the Powerplay overs, which remains a concern, especially when batters aren't on the attack against him. In the death too, it was a mixed bag for him. He did a great job in the first game, but his penultimate over put the hosts in control in the second encounter. With the bat, though, he was pretty impressive in the last two games and showed a lot of application and composure.
Deepak Chahar - 6/10; 3-0-24-2 in only outing
Chahar was decent in his only game in the series. After getting hit in the first two overs, he made an impressive return, outfoxing Charith Asalanka and Hasaranga in the space of three deliveries. The wicket of Asalanka proved to be the final nail in the coffin for Sri Lanka as he was waging a lone battle.
Chetan Sakariya - 3/10; 1 wicket @ 34.0, Eco: 9.27
Chetan Sakariya got a golden chance to feature in the T20Is after an impressive display and a COVID outbreak in the team. But he didn't do anything special as such in the lone he got to bowl, which was the second game, with the Lankans crossing the line.
Navdeep Saini – NA
Saini was part of the team in the second game, but he was more of a specialist fielder if anything. He didn't get to bowl even one delivery with Dhawan trusting Sakariya, and then he got injured at the end to miss the final game.
Sandeep Warrier – 3/10; 3-0-23-0 in the only game
The injury to Saini helped Warrier make his international debut for India in the final game. However, he bowled just three overs, and with not much needed for the Lankans to chase on a spin-friendly pitch, there wasn't much for him in the game.
Varun Chakravarthy – 5/10; 2 wickets @ 30.5, Eco: 5.3
Despite being the only spinner to feature in all the three games for the Men in Blue, Varun Chakravarthy was the least impressive. It was some spectacle to see him unravel all his variations, but he wasn't as aggressive/impactful enough as India would have liked him to be. At times, he was guilty of bowling too quick and short.
Yuzvendra Chahal – 9/10; 4-0-19-1 in the only outing
Yuzvendra Chahal was surprisingly picked ahead of Rahul Chahar in the opening T20I, but unlike his Chepauk run in this year's IPL, he made full use of the helpful wicket. He aced the right pace, and with the help of his flight, variations and guile, made a solid impression.
Kuldeep Yadav – 8/10; 2 wickets @ 23.0, Eco: 7.66
Kuldeep Yadav was a revelation in the second game, where he was turning the ball square. He was bowling slow, looking confident and was able to induce false shots. He ended up with figures of 2/30, even when there were dropped catches off his bowling and a missed DRS opportunity that would have got him an early wicket.
Rahul Chahar – 9.5/10; 4 wickets @ 10.5, Eco: 5.25
The aura of Rahul Chahar as a spinner stood out in the white-ball series, and he emerged as the biggest positive for India from the tour. The guile, variations, flight, set-ups and just the sheer belief of turning around games on his own, was simply phenomenal. Whenever he had the ball in hand, the fall of a wicket looked inevitable. He has bolstered his reputation in the series.