An unexpectedly enthralling Nidahas Trophy got a deserving thriller of a finale as India beat Bangladesh off the last ball of the game. Despite fighting till the very last, Bangladesh ran out of steam and fizzled out at Colombo's R Premadasa Stadium on Sunday. Here is India's report card for the Nidahas Trophy final:
With Mahendra Singh Dhoni absent, Dinesh Karthik apparently took upon the responsibility of not only keeping wickets, but also finishing games. He walked in with India needing 34 runs in two overs and wasted no time belting the Bangladesh bowlers. Two nonchalant sixes and a four got him going early on but India were still behind. With five needed off one ball, Karthik stunned a whole nation with a sensational strike over cover to gift India the Nidahas Trophy.
The wily leg-spinner had the Bangladesh batsman dancing to his own version of the 'Naagin' dance as he prised out three wickets at a minimal rate of 4.5. The cream of Bangladesh's batting was wiped out by Chahal in his four-over burst and it helped India restrict Bangladesh to a par total.
He continued to enhance his reputation as a batsman who revels under his own leadership. Rohit has a batting average of 39 when playing as a skipper, and the knock in the Nidahas Trophy final was another in a long list in which he has stepped forward and led by example. The Mumbaikar’s half-century propelled India's run chase after they lost two wickets early on. He couldn't, however, stay till the end and get the job done.
The teenager continued to impress in the powerplay overs, giving away just five runs in two overs and picking up the wicket of Liton Das. In 78 balls this series in the powerplays, Sundar has given away a mere 77 runs, picking up six wickets in the process. He ended his four over spell yet again under six an over and was the pick of India's bowlers.
Rahul’s exclusion from the T20I side at the beginning of the series was baffling considering his extraordinary returns in this format of the game, but when he did finally get a chance to put his place beyond doubt, Rahul couldn't quite nail it, although he did no harm to his cause with a rapid 14 ball 24 on Sunday. He stitched together an enterprising 50-run stand with Rohit that gave India a strong base.
Stuck at one end after Rohit's dismissal, Pandey had to anchor the run chase for India, but couldn't quite get going as he chugged along to eight in 15 balls. He did get better in terms of strike rate, but was weighed down by a terrific over from Mustafizur Rahman to Vijay Shankar. Pandey departed looking to slog away off the final ball of that over. His 27-ball 28 hurt India's chances after a really promising start.
Unadkat struggled to live up to his Indian Premier League (IPL) auction price yet again as he ended up gifting 22 runs in his first two overs. his performance has been disastrous at the start of the innings more often than not and although he compensates a touch with his variations at the death, he seems to be a one-trick pony. Unadkat will need a great IPL to remain in India's T20I plans.
Thakur pulled off a stunning catch but couldn't quite excel with the ball as he gave away 45 runs in four unimpressive overs. Despite his handy death-bowling skills, Thakur continues to be a work in progress and will need more consistent returns to really nail down a spot in the Indian squad.
After a promising few weeks, Dhawan let himself down in the final with a rather ordinary innings when India needed him to stay out there with Rohit and build a good platform. He was comprehensively beaten in flight by Shakib Al Hasan and departed early in the run chase.
Raina had a sour end to the tournament after he departed for a three-ball duck, caught behind off Rubel Hossain - an underedge that the sharp Mushfiqur Rahim spotted and reviewed. Raina will need more consistent, bigger scores to book the No 3 spot in the T20I side.
The former Sunrisers Hyderabad all-rounder had a terrible day as he was clubbed around by the Bangladesh batsmen for 48 in his four overs. But the worst was yet to come as he got 'fizz’-led out in the 19th over by a sensational Rahman. Four dots and a bye in the first five balls of the over nearly gifted the game on a platter to Bangladesh.
With 12 runs needed off the final over, Shankar went on to concede yet another dot and if not for Karthik's last ball heroics, he would had a tough time handling the flak for costing India the final.
Rating chart: 10-9: Excellent, 8-7: Good, 6-5: Average, 4-3: Poor, 2-1: Very poor