India crush Sri Lanka 3-0 in ODI series: Key takeaways
After clinching the T20I leg 2-1, Team India thrashed Sri Lanka 3-0 in the ODI series. The hosts won all three games comfortably and they couldn't have asked for a better start in an ODI World Cup year. Though SL also walked away with some positives, it was overall a disappointing series for them. Here we look at the key takeaways from the series.
Virat Kohli back to his best
Former Indian skipper Virat Kohli is back among heavy runs. He recorded two centuries in the series, with his scores reading 113 (87), 4 (9), and 166* (110). Kohli even became the first player to record 10 ODI tons against a single team. These are certainly worrying signs for opposition teams. Unsurprisingly, he walked away with the Player-of-the-Series award.
Eight sixes in the third ODI
Not particularly known for his six-hitting ability, Kohli smashed as many as eight maximums in the third ODI. He hadn't smashed as many sixes in an ODI outing before. The right-handed batter also recorded his second-highest score in the format (166*).
Shubman Gill made his chances count
Although Shubman Gill's selection ahead of Ishan Kishan raised several eyebrows, the former justified the decision with a couple of brilliant knocks. He recorded scores of 70 (60), 21 (12), and 116 (97), and his series strike rate of 122.49 stood out. As per Kausthub Gudipati, Gill (894) now owns the most runs by an Indian within the first 20 ODI innings.
Rohit Sharma threw away starts
While Indian skipper Rohit Sharma was also among the runs, he was guilty of throwing away his starts. After a magnificent 83 (65) in the opener, the dasher returned with 17 (21) and 42 (49). Notably, his last ODI ton was recorded in January 2020.
KL Rahul embracing the number-five spot
KL Rahul has certainly embraced batting at number five. While he played a quickfire 39 (29) in the opener, Rahul returned with a watchful 64* (103) in the second game, which was a low-scoring affair. Rahul has now played 16 innings at number five in ODI cricket. He has scored 658 runs at this position at a remarkable average of 50.61 (SR: 102.17).
Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik making the ball talk
Pacer Mohammed Siraj was at his lethal best with the ball as he returned with nine wickets in three games. 23 of his 33 ODI wickets have come in the powerplay as his average in this phase reads 14.39 (ER: 3.94). Meanwhile, speedster Umran Malik played two games and returned with five wickets. He was frequently touching the 150-KPH mark.
Kuldeep Yadav and the art of taking wickets
After being benched for the opener, left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav was given a chance in the second game and he returned with Player-of-the-Match-winning figures of 3/51. He took two more wickets in the final game. Kuldeep is expected to be considered over leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal for upcoming ODI assignments. The latter has looked far away from his best in recent times.
Hasaranga inks an unwanted record
Ace leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga failed to pick a single wicket across three ODIs. It's the first time that he has remained wicket-less in a bilateral ODI series since his debut in 2017. His figures read 0/67, 0/28, and 0/54.
Forgettable outing for SL batters
While Indian batters were hammering runs for fun in the series, SL batters struggled largely. Only three scores of 50 or more were recorded from the SL side in the series - Dasun Shanaka (108*), Pathum Nissanka (72), and Nuwanidu Fernando (50). Failures of Kusal Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva hampered the visitors. Skipper Shanaka, however, has emerged as a prolific finisher.