Although India lost the three-match T20I series 1-2, forced to play with a weakened side, the slow bowlers had a memorable tour. Yuzvendra Chahal impressed in the ODIs and the first T20I before being forced into isolation. Rahul Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy and Kuldeep Yadav also made a serious impact in the series.
At a post-match conference, Dravid was asked which spinners he would pick in India’s T20 World Cup squad if given a choice. The Indian coach for the series wittily replied:
“I am not going to do that. I am the coach of this team. I am not going to name people publicly. All I would want to say is that all of them performed really well. We are lucky to have that kind of depth and quality in our team. And, two or three, or how many ever the selectors pick, will be great and will be able to do the job. It is up to the selectors to decide who they want and what they are looking at."
"From a coach’s perspective all four of them didn’t do anything wrong. They showcased what they are capable of and it was heartening to see the quality of spin that we have in white-ball cricket,” Dravid added.
While Chahal claimed 1 for 19 in the only T20I match he played, Chahar finished the series with four wickets, including three in the final T20I. Chakravarthy and Kuldeep picked up two scalps each.
Wanindu Hasaranga was exceptional throughout the series: Rahul Dravid
Admitting that things were tough for India after the first T20I, since most of their key players were unavailable, Dravid praised the Sri Lankan bowlers, singling out Wanindu Hasaranga and Dushmantha Chameera. Asked to reflect on the takeaways from the series, Dravid stated:
“It was quite challenging after the first game. But there are always good opportunities and learnings from these games for a lot of these youngsters. It gives them an exposure to international cricket and also to be able to play on some of these challenging wickets (is a learning experience). It seems like a 130-140 wicket here. So it has been about scraping and fighting your way to that total. It is quite important to learn how to do that. Obviously, we were restricted because of the way things were.
“In the last couple of games we were a batsman short, which was always challenging. But the great positive for me was the way the boys fought. In the second game, we ran them very close. A couple of balls here and there and we could have actually won that game. Today, we didn’t bat well. (Wanindu) Hasaranga has been exceptional throughout the series, both him and (Dushmantha) Chameera. We just lost too many wickets early on. 80 was never going to be enough,” Dravid concluded.
While Hasaranga was the leading wicket-taker in the T20I series with seven scalps, including 4/9 in the final T20I, Chameera claimed four wickets at an economy rate of 5.25.