Shreyas continues his run spree as India thrash Sri Lanka 3-0

By Kersi Meher-Homji

India under new captain Rohit Sharma is unstoppable, whitewashing West Indies 3-0 in both One Day Internationals and in T20 Internationals (T20Is) recently and now Sri Lanka 3-0 in T20Is. It seems no one can stop India’s triumphant march.

Having beaten SL by 62 runs in the first T20I at Lucknow and by 7 wickets in the second T20I at Dharamsala, India won by 6 wickets in the third and final T20I at Dharamsala.

Person of the Match in both the Dharamsala matches was the talented 27 year-old Shriyas Iyer, scoring 74 not out off 44 balls in the second match and 73 not out off 45 balls in the third match which concluded last night. In the three match series he has scored 204 runs (57, 74 and 73) without getting out once. Much is expected from this super talented youngster.

In the third and final T20I, Sri Lanka batted after winning the toss. They must have regretted this decision as they lost 4 for 29 and then 5 for 60. It appeared that they would be bowled out for under 100 but their consistent skipper Dasun Shanaka thought differently. Hitting fearlessly he made 74 magnificent runs off only 38 balls belting 9 fours and 2 sixes. He added 86 runs with Chamika Karunaratne for the unbroken sixth wicket and SL registered a respectable total of 5 for 146 in 20 overs.

As if saying “no problems”, India reached the target for the loss of only four wickets to win the match by 6 wickets with 19 balls in hand and the series 3-0. Like in the second T20I, Shreyas Iyer (73 not out off 45 balls with 9 fours and a six) and Ravindra Jadeja (22 not out) took India to a facile victory.

Supremely successful Shreyas was adjudged both Player of the Match and Player of the Series.

He said at the presentation, “Obviously, all three unbeaten fifties [57 in the first match, 74 in the second and 73 in this match] were special for me. Yesterday, winning the series was memorable. To be honest, you require just one ball to get in form. I’m really happy with whatever opportunities I got in this series. To be honest, the wicket was a bit two-paced today and I was playing on merit and trying to punish the loose balls. You just have to back your instincts and be positive. It has been a roller-coaster journey for me from injury. To come out of injury and perform at this level is really heartening for me.”

The winning skipper Rohit Sharma added, “I mean it’s a factor of everything that comes together. We played together and we played very well. A lot of positives from this series. That is something we’ve kept in mind – good to give opportunities to few of those guys. We do understand at times that we’ve held back but it’s important to tell the guys that you don’t have to worry about your positions in the team. We want to fill whatever gaps we have and we have. We just want to move forward. It’s going to be a big challenge but it’s nice to have guys in form rather than not in form. If the guys take the opportunity the way some of these guys have taken, you can move from strength to strength. Once we reach Mohali, we will start thinking about the Test series (laughs).”

The two-Test series starts at Mohali on 4th March where we will see the maestros Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami … again.

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