Here is Cricketnext's report card as we analyse the performance of every player from Thursday's game.
Rohit Sharma — Rating: 10, Verdict: Excellent
There are hardly any better sights in one-day cricket when Rohit Sharma starts finding the middle off the bat. In the last match Rohit showed that he had returned to his best and in Thursday's game he carried on from where he had left. Rohit was at his majestic best as he smashed 104 off just 88 balls. The Indian opener scored all around the ground, hitting 11 boundaries and 3 sixes. He played the role of an anchor perfectly when Kohli was smashing from the other end and when the time came, Rohit didn't hesitate to change gears. He will now be hoping to carry the same form into the final game of the series as India look for another whitewash.
Shikhar Dhawan — Rating: 1, Verdict: Very Poor
After scores of 132* and 49 in the first two one-day games, Dhawan has struggled to hit the ball as cleanly as he would have liked. It was yet another short stay at the crease for the left-hander, after he was dismissed early for 4 by Fernando.Again, Dhawan was trying to press the accelerator early as he tried to clear Fernando, only to find third man where Pushpakumara completed a tricky catch - considering the ball was travelling quickly.
Virat Kohli — Rating: 10, Verdict: Excellent
Another game and another ton for Virat Kohli, the Indian captain scored yet another century - his 29th overall in ODIs which put India in a commanding position. He also overtook Sanath Jayasuriya to reach the third positon in ODI list for maximum centuries. Kohli looked to dominate right from the beginning, and it was a rather quick ton from the skipper on the flat surface, providing a perfect platform for late flurry from the lower order. Considering Kohli was having a quiet series by his high standards, this century will surely please him. With this ton, he also became the highest scorer in limited overs cricket for the year 2017. He now has 907 runs to his name at a mind blowing average of 82.45.
KL Rahul — Rating: 2, Verdict: Very Poor
KL Rahul has been a real find for India in Test cricket, but the Karnataka batsman continued his limited overs struggle as he was dismissed rather cheaply yet again. He came into bat when India were on top, and were looking for quick runs to reach a huge total. But again, Dhananjaya proved to be the Bengaluru batsman's undoing as he chipped one straight to mid-wicket. It was KL Rahul's third failure in the series, and with the battle for middle-order slots heating up, Rahul might find it difficult to justify his spot in the team if things don't turn around soon for the right-hander.
Manish Pandey — Rating: 8, Verdict: Very Good
Considering Manish Pandey doesn't have a fixed batting spot in the team, it was an excellent innings from him as he stitched together a wonderful 101-run partnership along with skipper MS Dhoni. He rotated strike easily and hit 4 crisp boundaries as he completed a quick-fire 50 off just 42 balls. The fact he remained unbeaten was an icing on the cake. Pandey can walk into starting XIs of most teams around the world and now with this performance, he has given Kohli and the team management another happy headache. It will be intersting to see how Pandey performs against some of the tougher oppositions as the battle for the middle-order slots heats up.
MS Dhoni — Rating: 8, Verdict: Very Good
It was a special occassion for MS Dhoni, as the former captain was playing his 300th ODI. Dhoni made the occassion all the more special as he set a record for the most number of not outs with yet another unbeaten innings. Dhoni scored 49 off 42 balls, with 5 boundaries and 1 maximum and helped build on the wonderful platform provided by Rohit and Kohli. Dhoni also showed his importance behind the stumps, as he took three catches and also had a perfect review to dismiss Dickwella. With these performances, Dhoni has all but erased any doubts about his spot in the team in run up to the 2019 World Cup.
Hardik Pandya — Rating: 6, Verdict: Average
Pandya was sent in as a pinch hitter at number 4 after India had gotten off to a good start. He did hit one six and one four, but he would have liked to have gotten more runs, considering the fact that his dad was there to see him perform. However, he did manage to pick up a couple of wickets with his bowling, although he was slightly on the expensive side - conceding 50 runs in his eight overs. Pandya certainly has sealed the all rounder spot in the team, and he would like a string of good performances to ensure that he goes into the World Cup with some confidence in the couple of years' time.
Axar Patel — Rating: 5, Verdict: Average
Not the best of days for Axar Patel as he was among the few expensive bowlers for India. Patel conceded 55 runs off his 10 overs but at the same time he got the important wicket of Angelo Mathews, the only Sri Lankan batsman who threatened to take the game away from India. It would be too harsh to be overtly critical of the all rounder, considering the pitch was a rather flat one with nothing in it for the bowlers. Patel didn't get a chance to show his capabilites with the bat, something he would have been looking forward to considering the wicket.
Shardul Thakur — Rating: 8, Verdict: Good
Playing his first ODI, Shardul Thakur would have been a bit nervous but the experience of the domestic circuit showed as Thakur was solid with his line and length, not giving away many loose deliveries. He also got the first breakthrough for India, getting the better off Dickwella with a quick delivery. He conceded only 26 runs from his 7 overs, bowling 28 dot balls.Thakur's good performance showed how India might well have some good depth even in the fast bowling department in limited overs cricket.
Jasprit Bumrah — Rating: 8, Verdict: Good
Bumrah might well be India's best limited overs bowler as he again showed with a special performance on Thursday. Bumrah took two important wickets of Munaweera and Pushpakumara, conceding 32 runs off his 7 overs. In this series, Bumrah has proven that he has put the woes of the Champions Trophy behind him, where his no ball against Pakistan proved to be costly for India.
Kuldeep Yadav — Rating: 8, Verdict: Good
Kuldeep Yadav must be wondering just what he has to do to seal a spot in the starting XI. The chinaman impressed yet again as the batsman struggled to pick him or get him away, he got two wickets - Fernando and Malinga - although both were tailenders, but still it was an excellent performance from Kuldeep. He bowled in the right areas and wasn't afraid to toss the ball up. Considering it was a rather flat wicket, this was an excellent performance from him. He will be hoping that he has impressed the team management enough to nail a spot in the team.
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First Published: September 1, 2017, 12:42 PM IST