Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Mar 20, 2018, 06.40 AM
The recently concluded Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka, which India won in sensational fashion off the very last ball, was a massive success. It was one of the most watched tournaments in recent times and gave us an idea that tri-series are the future of T20 Internationals.
The tournament was fiercely contested between hosts Sri Lanka, along with India and Bangladesh. Team India, with a second-string side, managed to put together an impressive show through the course of the series and the team management would be thoroughly pleased with this effort.
There were a lot of takeaways for India in the Nidahas Trophy. Here is a look at a few of them.
Dinesh Karthik’s second coming
Dinesh Karthik wasn’t dismissed in the Nidahas Trophy. In whatever little opportunities he got, the wicket-keeper batsman made the most of it. His unbeaten 39 off 25 balls helped India beat Sri Lanka in the league stages while chasing a target of 153. And then he played the innings of his life with that cameo of 29 off 8 balls in the final against Bangladesh that gave India one of its most stunning wins ever. Karthik looked fluent and confident and struck the ball crisply. The 32-year-old has lived under the shadows of MS Dhoni for long and is now trying to establish his place in the side. This performance will now perhaps help him make a case for himself as a permanent member of the side and can be seen as his second coming.
Washington Sundar is one for the future
18-year-old Washington Sundar was the biggest positive for India from this series. The young off-spinner was absolutely brilliant with his bowling in the Powerplays and hardly gave the batsmen an inch. Sundar was adjudged the Man of the Series for his 8 wickets at an astounding economy rate of 5.70. The young man showed great maturity and seems to have a calm head on his shoulders. He varied his pace and length regularly and read the batsmen astutely. With age on his side and the performance he has shown in this series, Washington Sundar can definitely be considered as one for the future. With him as a regular in the limited overs teams, India’s bowling would look stronger than ever.
India’s fast bowling reserves are weak
One of the biggest disappointments for India in this tri-series was how poorly India’s fast bowlers performed. The likes of Shradul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammad Sriraj and even Vijay Shankar were really mediocre and patchy. They could not find the right lengths to bowl and were consistently punished. Save for a few moments here and there, the seam bowlers for India were rather ordinary and all had economy rates of well over 9 in the series which is unacceptable in this format. This will be a worry for the Indian selectors and should force them to look for other options to bolster the Indian fast bowling reserve which might come in handy in future tournaments.
Rohit the captain
Although he was a stand-in captain, Rohit Sharma did a very fine job leading a second-string Indian side in this tournament and came out with flying colours. He was pro-active with his bowling changes and even though his fast bowlers went for a lot of runs, he never let that get to him. Rohit read the game situations well and affected the field placements and bowling changes very shrewdly. He tried to give opportunities to all the players in the squad and was always seen talking to the youngsters, backing them steadfastly. Rohit has a lot of experience leading the Mumbai Indians in the IPL. And he has shown his leadership qualities in international cricket too now. Perhaps, the selectors can consider having him as the permanent T20I captain for India, which will also give some relief to Virat Kohli.
The Nidahas Trophy tri-series will go down as one of the most memorable moments in Indian cricket and will be treasured by its fans for long. It came to a perfect end for a long and successful Indian season and the players can now look forward to the upcoming seasons with a lot of hope.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)