The Sri Lanka vs India T20I series concluded in a rather disappointing fashion for the visitors as the Shikhar Dhawan-led side lost the third and final T20I by seven wickets, thereby going down 2-1 in the series. Many pundits were claiming a clean sweep for India in both the ODI and T20I series but Dasun Shanaka’s Sri Lanka fought their way back and left with plenty of positives to build on.
So what are the learnings from this Sri Lanka vs India T20I series? Let’s find out.
WANINDU HASARANGA IS CLASS
For his exploits, Wanindu Hasaranga was awarded as the Player of the Series. He was unplayable throughout this three-match series and climbed to the second spot in the ICC Ranking of T20I bowlers. The 24-year-old leg-break bowler has all the tricks in the book and is slowly becoming one of the toughest bowlers to play in T20 cricket. There are plenty of Indian T20 League franchisees who are interested in the Sri Lankan spinner and we won’t be surprised if he features in the second half of the competition starting September.
CHAMEERA AND KARUNARATNE WERE BRILLIANT
Shanaka’s side is young and pretty inexperienced but this series win would do them a world of good. They have found gems in the likes of Dushmantha Chameera and Chamika Karunaratne. They have a new-ball bowler who loves to pick wickets with the new ball in Chameera and in Karunaratne, a genuine all-rounder who can change the state of any match as we saw in the second T20I. They have plenty to work on but their building blocks seem solid for now.
YOUNG INDIANS NEED TO PLAY SPIN BETTER
Rahul Dravid said after the T20I series that he wasn’t disappointed with the way the young Indian batters featured in the series, but at the back of his mind he’d certainly be sad with what he saw in the final two T20Is. The young Indian batters looked out of their depth in those turning conditions against the mystery spin of Hasaranga and Akila Dhananjay. Back in India, these batters usually play on flat tracks that suit stroke-making, hence their technique against quality spin isn’t a finished article yet. Plenty to work on for these youngsters and they’d be hoping that they can come back into the Indian setup as improved cricketers after this international exposure.
COVID-19 CAN TURN ANY SERIES ON ITS HEAD
All was going according to plan till the first T20I for Team India and then all hell broke loose. Krunal Pandya contracted Covid-19 while on tour and eight other players who were in close contact with the player had to self-isolate. The team was left with only 11 players in the final two T20Is and it hampered the team balance massively. The team was at least a couple of batters short in the playing XI and from that moment on, it became extremely difficult to win the series. This was just another reminder about the difficult times we live in currently and how one positive player can change the complexion of an entire series. Something to keep in mind as the Indian Test team takes the field in their first Test against England on August 4.
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