In modern day cricket there have been very few teams who have been good visiting sides. Even some of the best teams on paper have lost their way and found it very difficult when they have played on foreign territory. The Indian Cricket Team certainly seems to be an exception, India have had a decent touring success rate and in the recently concluded Sri Lanka tour, they won 9-0 (3 Tests, 5 ODIs, 1 T20).
It’s a beautiful phase in Indian Cricket when even the bench strength, whenever it gets the chance to express itself, does so with enormous amount of pride and ease. It is the likes of Kuldeep Yadav, a very rare entity in Indian Cricket, probably India’s first ever left arm wrist spinner and Chinaman bowler and Hardik Pandya, a fast bowling all-rounder who can play the big shots at will, that have redefined Indian Cricket.
Sri Lanka on the other hand are still lamenting the loss of the golden generation, trying to find out ways torebuild their side. When the two teams met, with the contrasting phase of cricket they are going through, no one expected every match to go down to the wire. However, in the process of it all, Sri Lanka came around almost similar situations but met the same result every time. Sri Lanka did have some positives though to take from the series, India have many, but they shouldn’t get complaisant though.
Let’s have a look at the hits of the India tour of Sri Lanka.
- Shikhar Dhawan
Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan was a huge hit in the tour, Shikhar Dhawan not only made an authoritative start in the tour for India but also continued his beautiful run of play throughout the Test series and the ODI series. Dhawan was the leading run scorer in the Test Series and was adjudged Man of the Series for his outstanding form. Even in the ODI series, Dhawan scored a fantastic hundred in the 1st ODI and made the chase look very easy in the end. Dhawan missed the last 2 matches of the tour. However, he deserves a place in the hits section.
- Jasprit Bumrah
The leading wicket taker of the ODI series, Jasprit Bumrah has also been a huge positive for Indiain the recently concluded tour. Bumrah can play a very crucial role in India’s world cup campaign in 2019, although he was the man of the series in the ODI series, there is a still a long journey ahead of him. With 15 wickets in the ODI series, Bumrah is number 2 in the hits section.
- Rohit, Virat and MS Dhoni
The trio at number 3. It is hard to imagine a tour where Virat would not feature in the hits section. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma had a tremendous outing in Sri Lanka, while Rohit only featured in the playing 11 in the limited overs format, the vice-captain in limited overs cricket had three 50 plus scores in the 6 limited overs matches, two of them being triple figures and of them being unbeaten. Virat on the other hand, showed his masterclass yet again, bringing up his 30th ODI ton in the tour. The Sri Lankan team just couldn’t get past Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Dhoni remained unbeaten in the 6 limited overs matches that he featured in and played significant innings on many occasions. Dhoni was at his best behind the stumps too, becoming the first wicketkeeper in the world to affect 100 stumpings.
- Akila Dananjaya
The only things that obstructed India’s gala time in Sri Lanka were the 30 min stoppage due to the crowd showing their disappointment by throwing bottles at the ground and AkilaDananjaya’s magical spell of bowling where he ripped through the Indian batting order. In the later matches, India did manage to pick up his wrong one, but Dananjaya was one huge hit for the Sri Lanka side.
- Angelo Mathews
It is very heartening to see Mathews in this list, Mathews did score with the bat and posed some kind of threat with the ball as well. But more is expected of Mathews just because he brings so much balance to the side when in form and is an experienced player now in an otherwise inexperienced side, but for being Sri Lanka’s lone fighter with the bat in the ODI series, Mathews is a hit in my list.