New Delhi: A ruthless India demolished Ireland by 143 runs to clinch the series 2-0 as spinners yet again tormented the hosts after authoritative batting show by the visiting batsmen in the 2nd T20I, on Friday. India posted a massive 213 for four after being asked to take the first strike and then bundled out the hosts for a mere 70 in 12.3 overs.
Cricketnext takes a look at the performances of the Indian players from the series.
Shikhar Dhawan: Rating: 9, Verdict: Very Good
Shikhar Dhawan once again showed that why he is regarded as one of the best openers in the limited-over formats of the game. Dhawan featured in only one match in the series, and that was enough for the southpaw to illustrate the kind of form he is enjoying at the moment. Dhawan smashed 74 runs off just 45 deliveries in the first T20I, which included five fours and five huge maximums.
Rohit Sharma: Rating: 7, Verdict: Good
Much was being said by Rohit Sharma’s form prior to the series against Ireland. He didn’t had a great outing in South Africa and then flopped miserably with the bat in the Indian Premier League as well. However, the swashbuckling opener allayed all those fears by slamming a majestic 97 in the opening match of the series. Sharma’s hard-hitting was a delight to watch as he smacked 8 fours and 5 sixes in his 61-ball innings. However, all the good work was done away with in the second match when the ‘Hitman’ was dismissed for a duck.
Lokesh Rahul: Rating: 9, Verdict: Very Good
Lokesh Rahul is regarded as one of India’s best when it comes to batting in all three formats. But in the last few months — especially during the Indian Premier League — Rahul has shown that his power-hitting is second to none. After finishing as the third-highest run-getter in the cash-rich league, Rahul bludgeoned 70 off 36 deliveries in the second T20I at a strike rate of 194.4. Rahul’s form with the blade creates a happy headache for the team as all three openers seem to be in good nick at the moment.
Virat Kohli: Rating: 2, Verdict: Poor
India skipper Virat Kohli didn’t have a good time with the bat in Ireland as he managed to score just 9 runs in two outings. It must be noted that there weren’t enough balls left for him in the first game as he came out to bat in the last over. But Kohli failed with the bat in the second match too, despite opening the innings. Although, one would argue that stiffer test awaits Kohli and his troops in England, he would have wanted to get some runs under his belt after returning from injury, which ruled him out of his much-awaited county stint.
Suresh Raina: Rating: 7, Verdict: Good
Unlike most of his teammates, Suresh Raina got a chance to bat in both the matches and while he was very poor in one, he produced an excellent innings in the other. After getting dismissed for just 10 in the first match, the southpaw was given a chance to shine in the second and he repaid the faith shown in him by the management. Raina scored 69 off 45 deliveries at a healthy strike rate of 153.3. The Indian team have a dearth of southpaws in the middle-order at the moment and Raina’s form sort of ends the problem.
MS Dhoni: Rating: 5, Verdict: Average
Mahendra Singh Dhoni featured in only one match in the series and therefore didn’t have enough chance to show if he has carried his IPL form onto the international stage. Behind the stumps, he was as steady as ever and also provided good support to Kohli as far as leading the side on the field is concerned.
Hardik Pandya: Rating: 6, Verdict: Good
All-rounder Hardik Pandya showed once again how destructive he can be in the limited-over formats of the game. After playing just one delivery in the first match, Pandya smashed 32 runs off just 9 deliveries — including four sixes — to help the visitors cross the 200-run mark in as many games. However, with the ball, Pandya wasn’t anywhere at this best in the two matches, as he picked up just one wicket and conceded 46 runs in 8 overs.
Manish Pandey: Rating: 2, Verdict: Poor
Middle-order batsman Manish Pandey is walking a very thin line as far as his place in the playing XI in concerned. Pandey had a rather underwhelming IPL, which saw him getting dropped during the latter stages of the Sunrisers Hyderabad campaign. His international form hasn’t been great either as he had failed in South Africa too. Pandey didn’t get a chance to bat in the first match but off the 20 balls that he face in the second, he could muster only 21. And with so many players waiting in the wings, time is slowly and steadily running out for him.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Rating: 6, Verdict: Good
There are not many better bowlers than Bhuvneshwar Kumar in world cricket at present, when it comes to swing bowling. Bhuvi featured in the first game and ended with figures of 0/16 in four overs. Despite not being able to open his account — in terms of wickets — the India medium-pacer was as on the mark and that is a good sign ahead of the England series.
Jasprit Bumrah, Rating: 8, Verdict: Very Good
Like Bhuvneshwar, Jasprit Bumrah also played just one match and it was enough tell the world that he is battle ready. In fours overs in the first match, Bumrah bowled one maiden, gave away just 19 runs and picked up couple of wickets. Expect Bhuvi and Bumrah to share the new ball early on in England.
Yuzvendra Chahal, Rating: 9, Verdict: Very Good
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has a knack of picking of wickets and such was the case in Ireland as well. In the two matches that he played, Chahal scalped three wickets in each match to break the backbone of the Irish batting line-up. Chahal’s economy rate was impressive as well as he gave away just 59 runs off the 48 deliveries that he bowled during the course of the series.
Kuldeep Yadav: Rating: 10, Verdict: Excellent
Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav was arguably India’s best bowler in Ireland and finished as top wicket-taker of the series as well with 7 scalps to his name. Kuldeep was awarded the man of the match in the opener after he finished with career-best figures of 4/21. Then, Kuldeep showed that his first game heroics was no fluke as he plucked three wickets in the second game as well. Indian spin duo of Chahal and Kuldeep will play a more than crucial role in England and both have warmed-up to the conditions nicely in Ireland.
Umesh Yadav: Rating: 8, Verdict: Very Good
Umesh Yadav has created a happy headache for the team management after his 2/19 in the second match. Although he proved to be a tad expensive (econ: 9.5), his wicket-taking ability makes him a contender for a place in the starting XI. Umesh was among the top wicket-takers in this year’s IPL and it seems that he has managed to bring that form onto the international arena as well.
Siddarth Kaul: Rating: 6, Verdict: Good
Siddarth Kaul was handed his cap by MS Dhoni and the pacer lived up the billing in his maiden outing for India. Kaul was given just two overs to bowl but he kept things tight and ended with figures of 1/4. Although, a bowler cannot be judged on the basis of just two overs — despite having tons of IPL and domestic experience — early signs suggest that if called upon, Kaul will be more than ready to do well for the team.