The Indian Cricket team under the captaincy of Virat Kohli won the test series 2-1 games in Sri Lanka after 22 years just a few minutes ago. The Indian team came back strongly in the second game and kept the pressure in the third test also though they had lost the first test match disappointing Indian cricket lovers.
The credit for the series should be given to all players, but here’s picking the 5 key players for India’s historical win over Sri Lanka –
1. R Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin was the leading wicket taker in the Sri Lankan test series. He picked 21 wickets which is the most in India vs Sri Lanka test series. In the first test match at Galle, picked 6 wickets giving away 46 runs in the first innings while in the second innings he picked 4 wickets. In the second test match Ashwin picked 2 wickets in the first innings while 5 wickets in the second innings.
In the third test match, he was not given enough bowling in the first innings while picked 4 wickets in the second innings. He picked 21 wickets giving away 380 runs at an economy rate of 18.1 per wicket. He scored a vital 57 in the second innings of the third test match when the key batsmen had failed. He was awarded the man of series award for his overall performance.
2. Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma proved that Indian pacers can also pick crucial wickets if suitable pitches are provided. In the first test match of the series he picked 1 wicket each in both innings. In the second test match he picked 2 wickets in the first innings and 1 wicket in the second innings.
In the third test match, he picked 5 wickets in the first innings and 3 wickets in the second innings. Overall he picked 13 wickets giving away 302 runs at an economy rate of 23.3 runs per wicket. He played a key role in the third test match as he picked crucial wickets with the new ball in both innings.
3. Cheteshwar Pujara
In the third test match at Colombo the Indian team faced a problem as Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan were ruled out of the test series. Pujara opened as an opener in the third test match. Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bowl first. The wicket was seaming and proved very difficult to score. Pujara played a brilliant knock of 145 not out.
When wickets were falling at the other end Pujara stood tall and put up a vital partnership with Amit Mishra in the first innings of more than 100. Pujara scored a crucial knock which helped India to reach a total of 312. He remained firm and played with a solid technique which led to India’s victory in Sri Lanka. Pujara was negogating the seam, bounce and movement of Sri Lankan pacers with rare discipline and control the commentators kept on emphasizing how extremely slow and painfully cautious he was. Once the pressure was off and the spinners were introduced, Pujara batted with refreshing freedom and displayed his outstanding footwork to attack the bowlers.
4. Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane also played a vital role in helping India winning the test series in Sri Lanka. In the first innings at Galle he scored 0 and in the second innings he scored 36 runs. He fielded exceptionally well in the first test match picking up 8 catches in total. In the second innings he got out cheaply in the first innings but scored but played an important knock of 126 in the second innings.
In the third test match, he failed to score in both innings. He scored 178 runs at an average of 29.6. He was shifted from number 5 to number 3 in the second and third test match. He proved that he is an important member of batting line up.
5. Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli was the leading the test team in full fledged test series for the first the time. He led the team and won the series as a captain. He did not perform well with the bat in the series. In the first test match he scored 103 and 3.
In the second test match, he scored 78 and 10 while in the last test match he scored 18 and 21. He scored 233 runs at an average of 38.8. After the first test match loss he captained in aggressive manner and kept the pressure on the Sri Lankan batsmen always.