One-sided affairs in the first two games saw Sri Lanka and India win a game each before heading to Visakhapatnam for the decider in the three-match One-Day International (ODI)series. Some exceptional bowling from the Indian wrist-spinners and a fabulous century from Shikhar Dhawan ensured that Sri Lanka's hopes of winning their maiden ODI series in India remain unfulfilled.
The beginning of the ODI series was in stark contrast to the Tests where India had dominated right through. The visiting pacers wreaked havoc on a seaming Dharamsala wicket and reduced India to 29/7 before a Dhoni special took India to some respectability. They still lost the first ODI comprehensively, before roaring back with a Rohit Sharma double hundred in Mohali. India followed it up with a comfortable win in the decider to seal the series 2-1.
Here's our report card from the ODI series.
Shreyas Iyer (Mat - 3, Runs - 162, HS- 88, Avg - 54.00)
India's eternal search for a No 4 seems to have ended with Shreyas Iyer impressing with back-to-back half-centuries from No 3 in Virat Kohli's absence. The swashbuckling Mumbaikar’s fearlessness and aptitude deserves special mention and he could very well be slotted in below Kohli once the regular skipper returns. If anything, he would want to convert those fifties into hundreds.
Angelo Mathews (Mat - 3, Runs - 153, HS - 111*, Avg - 153.0, Wkts - 1)
Angelo Mathews had coped much criticism during the Test series with his shoddy performances with the bat, but turned around his fortunes with a valiant hundred in the second ODI and some tidy spells with the new ball. The former Sri Lanka skipper deserves praise for the manner in which he raised his game in the latter half of the tour.
Shikhar Dhawan (Mat - 3, Runs - 168, HS - 100*, Avg - 84.00)
The southpaw was in outstanding form in the last two matches of the series and capped it off with an unbeaten hundred in the final match of the series. He was rightly adjudged the Man of the Series for his efforts.
Rohit Sharma (Mat - 3, Runs - 217, HS - 208*, Avg - 108.5)
'The Hitman' slammed his third ODI double century in Mohali but otherwise cut a sorry figure with his familiar issues against swing and googlies coming to the fore. The double-hundred — studded with some gorgeous shots all around the wicket — silenced any critics he might have had after the Dharamsala failure.
Yuzvendra Chahal (Mat - 3, Wkts - 6, Avg - 17.66, Eco - 5.30)
The Royal Challengers Bengaluru leg-spinner was at his wily best and the manner in which he exerted control in the middle-overs ensured that he once again finished as India’s best bowler in the series. His spell of 3/46 in the decider was critical in giving India a solid grip on the game.
Kuldeep Yadav (Mat - 2, Wkts - 3, Avg - 14.00, Eco - 4.20)
The Chinaman wrist-spinner proved that he is one of the best wicket-taking options going around with his three-wicket haul — including two in an over — in the final ODI. Yadav wasn't included in the second game although he wasn't required to bowl in the first.
MS Dhoni (Mat - 3, Runs - 72, HS - 65, Avg - 36.00)
The wicket-keeper batsman stepped up for India when the chips were down, making a fighting 65 in the first ODI after India had lost seven for a meagre 29. Although it didn't avert a heavy defeat, the knock showed that the Dhoni's fighting instincts are pretty much intact.
Sadeera Samarawickrama (Mat - 1, Runs - 42, HS - 42, Avg - 42.00)
Although he played in just the final match of the series, Samarawickrama made an instant impact, combining with Upul Tharanga to give Sri Lanka a terrific start. His wicket, though, triggered a collapse that saw the visitors being bowled out for 215.
Suranga Lakmal (Mat - 3, Wkts - 4, Avg - 26.00, BBI - 4/13)
Suranga Lakmal has made rapid strides as a fast bowler in recent times and an eye-catching 4/13 at Dharamsala gave Lanka an early hold in the series. In the second match, though, Rohit Sharma slammed him for four consecutive sixes to mess up his figures.
Upul Tharanga (Mat - 3, Runs - 151, HS - 95, Avg - 50.33)
The flamboyant Lankan opener had a relatively sparkling series with his 95 in the final ODI standing out in terms of pushing India onto the back-foot. Even in the first ODI, Tharanga's blitz ensured that there would be no surprises in a small run chase. Sadly, he found little support from his colleagues in the final.
Jasprit Bumrah (Mat - 3, Wkts - 4, Avg - 28.5, BBI - 2/43)
Jasprit Bumrah wasn't required a lot as Sri Lanka more often than not succumbed to the new ball or in the middle-overs to spin. He did impress when given the new ball in the final ODI though.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Mat - 3, Wkts - 3, Avg - 39.00, Eco - 4.77)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar couldn't quite make use of a favourable Dharamsala wicket after India’s batsmen gave him very few runs to bowl at and since then made little impact in the series.
Hardik Pandya (Mat - 3, Runs - 18, Wkts - 4, Bowl Avg - 31.75)
Hardik Pandya was used as a new-ball bowler in two of the three games, and showed that he could do a more than decent job with the ball moving about early on. It also helped India finish off their fifth bowler quota early. Pandya, though, had little to do with the bat in the series.
Thisara Perera (Mat - 3, Wkts - 5, Avg - 26.80, Eco - 7.73)
Thisara Perera was silently impressive as a skipper at certain times during the series but his lacklustre spells with the ball and untimely rotation of bowlers was met with criticism. Perera will need to do more with bat and ball to retain his place in the side, even if not as captain.
Washington Sundar (Mat -1, Wkts - 1, Avg - 65.00)
Eighteen-year-old Washington Sundar may have picked up just one wicket in the only game he got in the series but his temperament and composure at the big stage was evident the moment he snapped up a scalp in his second over.
Sachithra Pathirana (Mat - 3, Wkts - 2, Avg - 56.00)
Sachithra Pathirana’s place in the side is under the cloud after some listless performances with the ball and bat in the series. It would be a surprise if he continues to be in the side for the next series.
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