Young guns leave Team India selectors spoilt for choice

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 22, 2018 13:12 hrs
A young Team India played magnificently as a unit and ended up as winners of the Nidahas Trophy

In retrospect, the recently concluded Nidahas Tri-Series was all about flaunting India's bench strength. With the likes of Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav and Hardik Pandya not having travelled to Sri Lanka, the onus was on India's second-string to show their mettle.

And show us they did!

While many of the first teamers were rested, Team India did not lack in experience. Veteran Suresh Raina who is looking to find his way back into the ODI setup packed in a lot of experience and so did stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma and his deputy Shikhar Dhawan.

But playing with a bunch of rookies against Sri Lanka in their den and an ambitious Bangladesh side would not have been easy.

But there are a lot of takeaway from the series and a lot of youngsters delivered. The main ones to step up were Manish Pandey who shone with the bat and Shardul Thakur and Yuzvendra Chahal who delivered with the ball.

Veteran Dinesh Karthik played the most memorable match of his career when he did the impossible and won us an improbable final in the final over.

Talking about batting, Rohit looked like he would struggle with the twin responsibilities of opening the innings and captaincy. But despite a duck in the opening match, he redeemed himself with a couple of fifties, including one in the final.

Dhawan also chipped in with two fifites in the series. But it was Manish Pandey who impressed the most, averaging 67 through the series.

 

Bowler

Matches

Innings

Runs

Wickets

BBI

Average

Economy

W Sundar

5

5

114

8

3/22

14.25

5.70

Y Chahal

5

5

129

8

3/18

16.12

6.45

S Raina

5

2

20

0

-

-

6.66

V Shankar

5

5

153

3

2/32

51.00

9.00

S Thakur

5

5

176

6

4/27

29.33

9.02

J Unadkat

4

4

139

7

3/38

19.85

9.92

When it comes to bowling, Thakur had a forgettable opening match, conceding 42 runs as India lost cheaply to Sri Lanka but he rediscovered his form with some fantastic spells in the following matches.

Chahal also carried his form from South Africa and was too much for opposition batsmen throughout the series.

The pick of the bowlers however was Washington Sundar who picked up 8 wickets and averaged just over 14.

 

Batsman

Matches

Innings

Not outs

Runs

Highest

Average

Strike rate

M Pandey

5

4

2

134

42*

67.00

119.64

S Dhawan

5

5

0

198

90

39.60

145.58

R Sharma

5

5

0

173

89

34.60

136.22

KL Rahul

3

2

0

42

24

21.00

135.48

S Raina

5

5

0

103

47

20.60

132.05

Raina will be slightly disappointed with himself as his contributions were not standout, but were significant in the context of the game. The southpaw did lit the field with his electric fielding.

Risabh Pant is far from the complete batsman and has a lot of key areas to work on. He has no offside game and that is telling in the way bowlers attack him.

Another major disappointment was Mohammed Siraj who gave away 50 runs in the only match he played. Vijay Shankar also struggled and it his inability to claim runs at crucial moments almost cost India the final.

The wicketkeeper slot remains a major concern for India as Risabh Pant is still a work in progress. Karthik looked like he might have missed the opportunity to shine until the penultimate over of the final where he grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat.

That 8-ball innings would've put him in contention to be at least the back-up keeper in any upcoming series India might play.

All in all, with a comparatively inexperienced squad playing away from home against two competent teams, a new look India side did well to gel together and grind out results. And just when it looked like the final would end in disappointment, the men in blue scripted an unlikely win.

It was a promising show by a young crop in Lanka and this will leave the selectors spoilt for choice in upcoming tours. And that's a fantastic dilemma to be in.

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