With a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the third and final T20I at Dharamsala on Sunday, India equalled a world record of 12 consecutive T20I victories. As a result, India won the three-match series 3-0. India has now won four consecutive series under Rohit Sharma’s captaincy. After holding Sri Lanka to 146/5 in 20 overs in the third T20I, India chased down the mark in 16.5 overs. Here are some of the match’s talking points:
- Shreyas Iyer, the star performer
In the T20I series against Sri Lanka, one player in particular – Shreyas Iyer – has stamped his dominance. He batted 28 balls for 57* in the first T20I, 44 balls for 74* in the second T20I, and 73 on Sunday (45 balls). Iyer finished the series as the leading scorer with three half-centuries in a row.
His strike rate was 203.57 and 168.18 in the first two T20Is of the series, but it was 162.22 in the third T20I. The selectors are now in a difficult position, as they must find room in the XI for both Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav (whenever he recovers from his injury). For the time being, Iyer has staked a claim that should not be overlooked.
Despite losing wickets at the other end, Iyer maintained his composure and scored his half-century in 29 balls, with a six over long-on off Jeffrey Vandersay in the 12th over. Despite a couple of quiet overs, Iyer persisted in his assault, leading India to victory with 19 balls to spare. He had a total of nine fours and one six on the night.
- Avesh & Siraj bowled well
Avesh Khan, who made his international debut against West Indies in the final T20I last week, was named to the starting XI, as did Mohammed Siraj, who made his maiden appearance after warming the bench for the previous seven games. In place of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the two pacers were recruited into the XI, and both of them made the most of their opportunity.
The duo’s first four overs yielded three wickets and only 11 runs. Siraj struck first, dismissing Danushka Gunathilaka before Pathum Nissanka was dismissed in the second over by Khan. In the fourth over, he returned to return Charith Asalanka. Only 18 runs were scored in the powerplay by Sri Lanka, thanks to Siraj and Avesh.
- Dasun Shanaka’s knock
After the top-order disintegrated, the Lanka skipper rose to the occasion once more, shouldering the responsibility of producing a solid total. When Dasun Shanaka stepped out to bat, India had reduced the visitors to 29 for 4. At one point, it appeared like Sri Lanka might struggle to even reach the 100-run mark, but the captain had other ideas.
He struck 74 not out in 38 deliveries, including nine boundaries and two sixes, as part of an undefeated 86-run sixth-wicket stand with Chamika Karunaratne. The tourists set a 147-run goal for Rohit Sharma’s Team India, riding on Shanka’s important performance.