The Indian tour of Sri Lanka is finally over and India completed the 9-0 whitewash of the Sri Lankan team. At no point during the tour were we under any sort of pressure and even when we were in a spot of bother, unlikely heroes stepped up and ensured we came home with the win.
Here are 7 of the best performances throughout this tour:
Shikhar Dhawan’s 160
Dhawan set the pace at the beginning of the tournament by smashing a brilliant 160 at over a run a ball to put the hapless Sri Lankans on the ropes right from the beginning. He was in belligerent form, playing shots all over the place and did not give them any sort of breathing space at any point of time during the first innings of the first Test.
Jadeja’s fifer and half-century:
In the second test match, India put in another dominant display with both the bat and the ball. The match was already set with Pujara and Rahane getting centuries. However, Jadeja contributed with an excellent 70 off 85 in an attacking display to help India past 600.
After that, he helped with two wickets as Ashwin got a fifer. As the Lankans had to follow on, Jadeja took over the attacking bowling role and picked 5-wickets as India comfortably dominated the Lankans.
Hardik Pandya’s 108:
In the 3rd Test, India were cruising but were pegged back by some good bowling by Sandakan and Vishwa Fernando. Staring at a total less than 400 for the first time in the series, Pandya came to the fore in his maiden test series and ensured we made 487.
He batted with the lower order and took most of the strike as he made his maiden century under pressure to ensure we had another comfortable win under our belt.
Shikhar Dhawan’s 132:
In the first ODI, much like the first Test match, Shikhar Dhawan once again showed he was one of the best limited overs batsmen in the world with a beautiful 132 off just 90 balls. Supported by Kohli, the two chased down the relatively easy target of 216 with ease.
Dhawan proved that he is the main man at the top of the innings and continued his rich vein of form once again.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s 53:
Of all the people to help India chase down a score, Bhuvi did it along with the legend Dhoni in the competitive second ODI. India were run ragged by Akila Dananjaya who picked up 6 wickets as India were staring down the barrel of defeat.
Bhuvneshwar, however, with Dhoni batted sensibly and calmly as they understood that their main issue was losing wickets and not a big score. He finally cracked his first half-century as India miraculously made it over the finish line.
Jasprit Bumrah’s 5-27:
Playing in the third ODI, Bumrah came to the fore once again, having picked up 4 wickets in the previous match. He managed to get 5 wickets as India were able to restrict the Sri Lankans to just 217.
His superb swing bowling stifled the batsmen while the Yorkers ensured that they were never at ease. Bumrah won the man of the series for his contribution and this match was the finest of the lot.
Virat Kohli’s 131:
Having won the series, anyone would have been forgiven for thinking the Indian team would take things a little slow in the fourth ODI. It was anything but as they put up their most masterful batting performance as they hit 375 in their first innings, spurred by Virat’s 131 off just 96 balls.
Batting with the other centurion Rohit Sharma, Kohli played a superb attacking innings, spraying boundaries all over the park as India cruised to yet another victory.
Special mentions: Cheteshwar Pujara’s and Ajinkya Rahane’s centuries in the Tests, Rohit’s twin centuries, Dhoni’s 67 in the 4th ODI and Virat Kohli’s 84 in the T20I.
By Rohit Nair