India won the third and final T20 match of the series against Sri Lanka in Pune by 78 runs, essentially conquering the series 2-0. While the first match had been cancelled due to untimely rains, India outplayed Sri Lanka by 7 wickets in the second one at Indoor.
This series saw India particularly outshine a rather inexperienced Sri Lanka side, as both the Indian batting as well as bowling entourage performed well, with some players shining outright. This has been the latest in a series of stellar moments for the Indian cricket squad, and certainly bodes very well for anyone willing to put their money on the team. Here are 4 takeaways from the series everyone is talking about;
K L Rahul clear favorite as opener over Dhawan
In the second T20 International at Holkar Stadium, KL Rahul made sure that he didn’t let go of his upper hand over Shikhar Dhawan, hitting a classy knock of 45 off 32 balls as India beat the rather inexperienced Sri Lankan side by a full 7 wickets. This determined win has the hosts an undeniable 1-0 lead over their opponents. After reducing the Sri Lankan side to 142 for 9, Rahul provided a perfect start to India as the hosts reached 54 without loss in 6 overs. Eventually, the Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who managed a knock of 30 not out off 27 balls, and Shreyas Iyer with a 34 off 26, brought the match conclusively home in just 17.3 overs. Iyer was struck out just before India pulled off the win, as Kohli finished the innings with a massive six over deep fine leg.
Shikhar Dhawan, with whom K L Rahul is now competing for the second opener’s spot, returned to action after missing the series against West Indies owing to injury. However, it was clear he wasn’t at his best, and couldn’t keep up with Rahul. On the other hand, the 27-year-old from Karnataka managed to carry forward his sublime form from the series against West Indies and was absolutely elemental in this win.
A very disciplined Indian bowling attack
The second match also saw a particularly disciplined Indian bowling attack that proved fatal to the Sri Lankan side and stopped the visitors short on a sub-par total. The inexperience of the Sri Lankan batsmen also showed as they managed to squander a promising start on a good batting suspect. Their work was made even more difficult by Shardul Thakur (3/23), Navdeep Saini (2/18), and Kuldeep Yadav (2/38), who managed to fell 7 wickets among themselves.