Team India ended their ODI series against Sri Lanka with a defeat in Colombo. After winning the first two matches at the R. Premadasa Stadium, the Men in Blue decided to experiment a bit as they made six changes to their playing XI.
The gamble worked against them as Sri Lanka won the match by three wickets, thereby ending their nine-year-long winless streak in ODI matches against India on home soil. Avishka Fernando won the Man of the Match award for his marvelous knock of 76 runs.
There were many other interesting stats that emerged after the third ODI between India and Sri Lanka. Here's a look at some of the top statistics.
1. Rahul Chahar joined B Chandrashekar, Dilip Doshi in a unique group of spinners
Rahul Chahar was one of the five debutants in India's playing XI for the final ODI. The right-arm leg-spinner bowled an impressive spell of 3/54 in his ten overs, dismissing Dasun Shanaka, Avishka Fernando and Chamika Karunaratne.
Courtesy of his three-wicket haul, Rahul became the sixth Indian spinner to scalp three or more wickets on ODI debut. The last Indian to accomplish this feat was Rahul Sharma.
2. Sanju Samson ended his six-year wait
After some brilliant performances for the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, Sanju Samson received his maiden T20I cap against Zimbabwe on July 19, 2015. However, Samson could not represent the nation in any other format until July 23, 2021.
He played a few T20I matches, but Samson received his maiden ODI cap after a wait of six years and four days - the longest gap between any Indian player's ODI and T20I debuts. The wicket-keeper batsman scored 46 runs and executed one stumping on his ODI debut.
Interestingly, even Rahul Chahar received his maiden ODI cap almost two years after his T20I debut.
3. India created a new record for most debutants in an ODI series
The Indian cricket team is touring Sri Lanka with a second-string squad. There were many new faces in the team, and seven of them received their maiden ODI caps during the three-match series.
Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav made their ODI debuts in the series opener, while Rahul Chahar, Nitish Rana, Chetan Sakariya, Krishnappa Gowtham and Sanju Samson played their first ODI on Friday. Thus, for the first time in their cricket history, the Indian men's team handed included seven debutants in their playing XIs for a three-match series.
4. India played an ODI match with five debutants for the first time in more than 40 years
The last time India played an ODI match with five debutants (excluding the first-ever Indian men's ODI match) was back in 1980 against Australia. Interestingly, that was an away fixture as well.
India defeated Australia by 66 runs in that game. However, last night in Colombo, the Men in Blue suffered a 3-wicket loss against Sri Lanka.
5. Shikhar Dhawan continued Indian captains' dominance against Sri Lanka
Indian captains have dominated the Sri Lankan bowling attacks in the last four bilateral series between the two nations. Virat Kohli ended the series as the highest run-getter in the home series of 2014 and the away series of 2017.
Later in 2017, Rohit Sharma captained India in a home series against Sri Lanka and ended up as the most successful batsman. Now in 2021, Shikhar Dhawan accomplished the feat while leading the Men in Blue in an away series versus Sri Lanka.