India vs Sri Lanka 2017: 3rd T20I, 5 things we learnt from the match

Australia v India - Game 5
MS Dhoni finished the game off with a four
rohit sankar

India completed a whitewash, sweeping Sri Lanka 3-0, albeit in a more competitively fought game. Sri Lanka were pathetic with the bat but their bowlers made amends coming back strongly to put India in a spot of bother. With a required run rate touching seven and India five down, Lanka smelled a consolation win. But that was not to be as Dinesh Karthik ended their hopes with a game-sealing six.

Earlier, Rohit Sharma mixed up his young bowling options and they delivered. Jaydev Unadkat and Washington Sundar pegged Lanka back early and Hardik Pandya combined with Lanka's poor shot selection led to an average total. While the chase wasn't too easy, India completed a fine series whitewash.

#5 Rohit Sharma's bold captaincy gets India ahead

Australia v India - Game 3
Sharma's captaincy has been spectacularly good

Rohit Sharma the skipper has two titles in the IPL, skippering the Mumbai Indians side. He hasn't had much chances to helm India but with an opportunity coming by, Rohit made it count with some applaudable attacking captaincy.

On Sunday, he opened the bowling with young Washington Sundar, a role the 18-year-old has fulfilled with success in the TNPL and the youngster promptly responded with three tight overs and the wicket of Kusal Perera. What stood out was how the Sundar - Unadkat pairing worked tremendously well for India and it was some thinking from skippy, Hitman.

#4 Jaydev Unadkat in T20s is a proper third seamer option

Unadkat has been rather impressive with his variations
Unadkat has been rather impressive with his variations

If not for Bhuvneshwar Kumar resting, Unadkat wouldn't even have made it to the T20I side. But having got an opportunity, the Rising Pune Supergiant left-armer, who finished as the second highest wicket-taker in the 2017 IPL, grabbed it with both hands. He has been amongst the wickets while also being economical.

On Sunday, the seamer got rid of Niroshan Dickwella early on, this time befuddling the southpaw with a pacy length delivery. Expecting a slower ball, Dickwella was completely fooled. He then went about dismantling Upul Tharanga over whom he has had an upper hand right through the series, fooling him with a slower delivery yet again and reducing Lanka to 18/3.

#3 Sri Lanka's shoddy batting show

England v Sri Lanka - 5th ODI Royal London One-Day Series 2016
Shanaka may not have impressed with the bat but did his bit today with bat and ball

Sri Lanka's batsmen once again catapulted, this time on a more than decent batting wicket at the Wankhede and found themselves stuck at 18/3 before they knew it. That it was in the absence of India's regular new ball bowlers - Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar - made the collapse even more intolerable.

Their senior players have looked clueless while the younger guns have been reckless. Together, they have put in a series of forgettable performances with the bat. Dickwella and Tharanga perished in search of big runs while the others, save Gunaratne and Shanaka to an extent, apparently forgot the basics of batting.

#2 Sri Lanka roar back with the ball

New Zealand v Sri Lanka: Game 4
Chameera showed the kind of intent no Lankan bowler had exhibited this series

Dushmantha Chameera and Dasun Shanaka led Sri Lanka's fightback with the ball, putting on an impressive performance to push India onto the back-foot. Once Rohit Sharma was back in the pavilion, India looked a tad shaky although Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer built a steady partnership.

As the Wankhede slowed up, Thisara Perera and Dasun Shanaka mixed it up while Chameera persisted at one end. India lost a few wickets in the middle period as Sri Lanka finally came into their own in the T20 series. What looked like a poor total suddenly appeared daunting for the hosts.

#1 Dinesh Karthik does a MS Dhoni

Dinesh Karthik smashed a six off the last ball of the penultimate over
Dinesh Karthik smashed a six off the last ball of the penultimate over

As the game got tense, the man for such moments, MSD a.k.a MS Dhoni walked out to the middle, this time at no.7 just so the youngsters had an opportunity to bat longer. But the kids messed it up and it was up to Dhoni to see India to a series whitewash. With 28 needed in less than four overs, Dinesh Karthik and MS Dhoni got together.

Knowing Dhoni, this would always have been an easy-peasy chase but it was Dinesh Karthik who did a Dhoni and sent the ball soaring over the fence off a full toss in the last ball of the penultimate over. It brought the equation down to 3 from the last over and fittingly Dhoni hit a four to seal things for India.

Edited by Manish Pathak


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