IND vs SL T20I series: Here are the key takeaways
In their maiden assignment in 2023, India defeated Sri Lanka 2-1 in the T20I series. The series was a hard-fought one as the Lankan Lions were impressive in the first two games. The visitors even won the second T20I. However, they were entirely outplayed in the series decider and suffered a 91-run defeat. Meanwhile, here we look at the key takeaways from the series.
SKY continues to own the T20I format
Suryakumar Yadav and his purple patch in T20Is are here to stay. After managing just seven in the opener, the top-ranked T20I batter smoked a fighting 36-ball 51 in the second game. His best was unleashed in the decider as he mustered 112 off 51 balls, his third century in T20Is. It is worth noting that SKY was India's vice-captain for the series.
Tough outing for Indian openers
It wasn't a series to remember for Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill, who opened for India in all three games. While Kishan managed scores of 37, 2, and 1, Gill scored 7 and 5 before smashing 46 in the decider. With many prominent names contesting for the opening spot, the two youngsters need to step up sooner than later.
Hardik Pandya embraced leadership
Though stand-in Indian skipper Hardik Pandya could only manage 45 runs in the entire series, he was brilliant in the bowling department. He operated with the new ball and was economical in the powerplay overs. The right-arm pacer returned with two wickets in three games and conceded runs at a paltry rate of 6.11. Hardik was proactive with his captaincy as well.
Axar Patel displays his all-round brilliance
Axar Patel was at his all-round best against the Lankan Lions and he was named the Player of the Series. The left-arm spinner took three wickets at an economy rate of 7.4. Axar even contributed with the bat, scoring 117 runs at an astonishing strike rate of 195. The southpaw even smashed a 20-ball half-century in the second game.
Young Indian pacers stood up
Pace-bowling sensation Umran Malik was brilliant throughout the series. He was among the wickets in all three games as he returned with seven scalps (ER: 9.64). Another pacer Shivam Mavi made his international debut in the series opener and took four wickets.
Dasun Shanaka leading from the front
Sri Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka aced the finisher's role in the series as he scored 124 runs in three T20Is. He struck at an astonishing rate of 187.88. The right-arm pacer took two wickets in the only over he bowled in the series.
Top-order batters let SL down
SL opener Kusal Mendis scored 103 runs in the series, striking at 145.07. Besides him and Shanaka, no other SL batter could even manage 70 runs across the three games. The same was the major reason behind their defeat. The likes of Charith Asalanka and Pathum Nissanka were guilty of throwing away their starts. They managed 68 and 49 runs in the series, respectively.
How did SL bowlers fare in the series?
With five wickets in three games, Dilshan Madushanka was SL's highest wicket-taker in the series. However, the pacer conceded runs at 11.25. Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga couldn't do much damage in the middle overs and the same hurt SL. He managed just three wickets (ER: 9). Kasun Rajitha and Chamika Karunaratne also took three wickets apiece.