The recent India-Sri Lanka ODI series turned out to be a one-sided affair with the Rohit Sharma-led side completing a 3-0 clean sweep. India recorded impressive victories in Guwahati and Kolkata before a record-breaking show in Thiruvananthapuram capped off a dominating display.
Virat Kohli was superb with the bat, proving yet again why he’s regarded as one of the finest cricketers of the modern era with two centuries including an unbeaten 166 in the third ODI that helped India post a mammoth total of 390.
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On the other hand, the series was also noted for the rise of Mohammed Siraj as a dependable white-ball bowler. Having already made a name in Test cricket, the right-arm pacer has worked on his skills to suit the limited-overs format and the results have been quite promising.
Siraj finished with 9 wickets - the most by any bowler from either side and he came frustratingly close to to picking up a maiden ODI five-for in the third game where he finished with a career-best figures of 4/32 as Sri Lanka were skittled for 73 in chase of 391.
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The man of the match and player of the series awards both went to Kohli who was exceptional with the bat though. However, former India opener Gautam Gambhir reckons that Siraj’s performance was on level terms with Kohli and that there should’ve been a joint player-of-the-series award.
“He was on par with Virat Kohli," Gambhir said on Star Sports. “There should be a joint Man of the Series. He was exceptional and his spells came on proper batting wickets. I know you are always tempted towards giving batters Player of Series awards, but Siraj was absolutely exceptional."
In 19 ODIs, Siraj has now taken 33 wickets at 22.21 and boasts of an economy of 4.74. He was particularly impressed with the new ball, regularly providing early breakthroughs.
“I think the hallmark is, he will get many more five-fors, it’s not about that he didn’t get it today but how good was he, especially with the new ball. In every game, he was able to set the tone. He is a player for the future and is getting better after every series,” Gambhir said.
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