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India v Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI, 2017 – 5 Talking Points

The Indian team dominated the game for most part of both the innings to claim the series 2-1.

Kuldeep Yadav India
Kuldeep Yadav of India bowls. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After witnessing the high-scoring game at Mohali the other day, Team India was set to lock horns against the visitors in the series finale. Rohit Sharma won the toss for the home side and chose to bowl first at the Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam.

There was one change to the Indian team, as Kuldeep Yadav came back in for the 18-year-old Washington Sundar. Sundar’s spell of one wicket for 55 runs was not enough to garner him a place in the playing XI for the decider. Sri Lanka were put into bat, on a track which seemed flat for the bowlers initially.

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Sri Lanka faced a familiar headache in the form of their collapse. After batting thoroughly and beautifully in the first 30 overs, the away side collapsed to a total of 215 for the loss of all their wickets at the end of the 45th over. India made light work of an easy chase and got over the line with 8 wickets in hand courtesy Shikhar Dhawan’s 12th ODI ton. Here are the five talking points of the game:

1. Upul Tharanga stands out

If there was one Sri Lankan who was consistent in this series with the bat, it was the left-handed opener Upul Tharanga. Batting first, Sri Lanka got off to a bad start, losing Danushka Gunathilaka in the fourth over of the innings. However, following that Tharanga batted wonderfully well alongside Sadeera Samarawickrama to craft a partnership that proved to be the only substantial one in the inning.

While the Sri Lankan batting order was exposed to their fragility, the left-handed opener stood strong and played handy innings for the away side. Tharanga fell just 6 runs short of his century as he was stumped by MS Dhoni off the chinaman Kuldeep.

2. Kuldeep Yadav spun the match on his head

It was Kuldeep who turned the match around for India as Sri Lanka were racing towards a big total. The Chinaman picked up the wicket of the in-form batsman Tharanga before scalping Niroshan Dickwella.

Yadav then wrapped his spell with the wicket of the Sri Lankan off-spinner Akila Dhananjaya. It was his turn that brought the match back to life for the home side after a solid 2nd wicket partnership threatened to take Sri Lanka to a big total. After missing out on a place in the second ODI, the Chinaman returned to the playing XI in the third to prove vital for the team. He returned with the figures of 3/42 in his quota of ten overs.

3. Chahal claims three

While Yadav’s bowling proved too tricky for the visitors, Chahal’s line and length knocked the Sri Lankan batsmen over. He assessed the pace of the wicket and slowed down his deliveries adding more revs to it and thus the ball spun much better.

The leggie from Harayana dismiss Sadeera Samarawickrama, Angelo Mathews and the Sri Lankan skipper Thisara Perera. The three crucial Sri Lankan batsmen were knocked cold by the spell from the lead Indian spinner. In his spell, Chahal picked up three wickets for 46 runs bowling three maidens in his ten.

4. Dhawan’s stupendous century

While Rohit Sharma blew hot and cold in the ODI series, Dhawan was a constant point of attack for the Indian team. The left-handed opener was the most attacking batsman in the decider.

Alongside Shreyas Iyer, the left-handed batsman stitched a 135-run partnership to almost take the team home before the latter was dismissed. Dhawan was slow to his half century but took control and charged at the bowlers in the last part to score a magnificent hundred. He also entered the 4000-run club and is the second fastest Indian to the mark having got there in 95 innings.

5. Shreyas Iyer continues to impress

Iyer was filling in the big spot in this team, he came in at No.3 in absence of skipper Virat Kohli. The relatively inexperienced middle-order batsman after a dismal start to his career in the opening ODI at Dharamshala, upped his game and that the last two matches were played on batting wickets helped his cause. Iyer knocked a wonderful 81 in the second ODI, following it up with yet another half century in Vizag.

In the decider, he scored 65 runs in 63 balls, striking eight boundaries and one over the ropes. Though he failed to convert both his knock, it will surely earn him a call in the team even after Kohli comes back.

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