It wasn’t the typical batting paradise dished out at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday, but the Indian batsmen ensured that they kept calm and showed application to take the hosts home with 5 wickets in the bag and inflict a series whitewash on the Sri Lankans in the three-match T20I series. The batsmen needed to grind it out and that is just what the Indians did after Jaydev Unadkat led the show with the ball to restrict the visitors to 135/7 in their 20 overs.
CricketNext takes a look at the performance of all the Indian players in the third T20I at Wankhede stadium.
1. Rohit Sharma: Rating: 6 Verdict: Average
Rohit Sharma failed to provide a good start to India, much to the disappointment of the Mumbai crowd who had come to see their local hero perform. He scored 27 off 20 balls, but overall it has been a fine star to Rohit's captaincy journey, as India whitewashed the T20I series and won the ODI series after an initial hiccup in Dharamshala. He marshaled his troops well, despite Bumrah and Chahal not playing, the bowlers did a solid job, conceding only 135 runs in 20 overs on a rather flat pitch.
2. KL Rahul: Rating 4 Verdict: Poor
KL Rahul was dismissed cheaply for a rather poor shot, trying a wild heave, and being beaten by pace and movement. With Rahul not being in the South Africa ODI side, he will be concentrating on the domestic circuit now with Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy being his next commitment.
3. Shreyas Iyer: Rating 7: Verdict: Good
Iyer scored 30 off 32 balls, although it wasn't his fastest knock but it was one of his most important as India had lost in-form openers early and the middle order could have been exposed. He hit only 1 four and 1 six but was also dismissed in a rather unlucky fashion - as the bowl nicked off the bowler's hand and hit the stumps at the non-strikers end - just when he was starting to look good. Iyer's solid showing in the tournament have also earned him a spot in the South African team.
4. Manish Pandey: Rating 8: Verdict: Good
Manish Pandey had not been getting the chances in the previous matches as India's top order had been doing the job. Pandey was promoted up the order and he made most of that chance as he hit 32 off 29 balls to ease India's passage to victory. Although he would be slightly disappointed that he didn't stay till the end to guide India home but this should be a good learning experience for him.
5. Hardik Pandya: Rating 7: Verdict: Good
Hardik Pandya was exceptional with the ball, picking up two wickets and conceding only 25 runs in his 4 overs, bowling 11 dot balls. But his effort with the bat wasn't up to the mark as he couldn't finish the job. Pandya is being molded as the next finisher for the Indian team, but he couldn't do the job on Sunday, being dismissed for 4. It was also a poor shot from him and his reaction told the story. He is a quick learner though and you can expect him to not repeat the same mistake in the future.
6. Dinesh Karthik: Rating 7: Verdict: Good
Karthik was another batsman who hadn't been getting the chances earlier but he hit a crucial six off the last ball of the 19th over to ensure that India get over the line. He scored 18 off 12 balls, and has been making important contributions with the bat whenever given the chance. He is also among the frontrunners for the no.4 batting spot, once the full strength Indian team returns.
7. MS Dhoni: Rating 7: Verdict: Good
MS Dhoni at Wankhede against Sri Lanka is always a special memory for any Indian fan and again the former captain stayed unbeaten, guiding India to victory. He scored 16 off 10 balls, hitting two boundaries. He was also his usual safe and reliable behind the stumps.
8. Washington Sundar: Rating 8: Verdict: Very Good
Coming in the team in place of Chahal and making his T20I debut for India, the teenager had a game to remember as he picked up a wicket and also bowled the first over. He picked up the wicket of Kusal Perera, who could have done some damage had he stayed at the crease for a longer time. He is likely to stay in the squad for a longer period, atleast in T20Is as Indian team management will look to groom him for the future.
9. Jaidev Unadkat: Rating 10: Verdict: Excellent
If it was the batsmen who were winning games for India earlier in the series, then now it was the bowlers turn with Unadkat performing exceptionally well with the ball. He picked up two wickets and conceded only 15 runs in his quota of 4 overs.
10. Kuldeep Yadav: Rating 7: Verdict: Good
Not one of his best days but Kuldeep still had a solid showing with the ball, again Sri Lanka failing to get him away. He got the wicket of Gunathilaka. He conceded only 26 runs off his 4
11. Mohammad Siraj: Rating 4: Verdict: Poor
Siraj's introduction to international cricket hasn't been the smoothest, as he had another poor outing, conceding 45 runs off his 4 overs. While all the other bowlers had an economy of around 6, Siraj's economy rate was 11.25. Considering that the battle for spots in the Indian team is heating up, it wouldn't be surprising to see Siraj slip down the pecking order after this performance.