Motivated by a winning momentum of nine matches, India are set to play Australia in a thrilling five-ODI and three-T20I series to be held here from September 17 to October 13.
Ahead of the tough competition on home turf, India should revise the lesson they learnt during the lengthy series. Here’s a list of star campaigners from the series, who returned home with valuable experience.
Captain Virat Kohli is undoubtedly the biggest star as he stretched his limit to reach perfection. Having scored 573 runs in the series comprising of three Tests, five ODIs and one-off T20I, Kohli led the team by example, helped them win matches and gave youngsters their chance to play impressive cricket.
Openers Rohit, Dhawan
Indian opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan put their best foot forward during the Sri Lanka series. Missing Test matches, Rohit scored 311 runs with two consecutive century-knocks in ODIs, while Dhawan smashed 548 runs with two hundreds in Tests and one in ODIs.
Having scored maximum 358 runs in the three-Test series, Dhawan was bestowed with the Player of The Series award.
Pacers Bhuvneshwar, Bumrah
Pacemen Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah were sheer delight to watch throughout the series as they dominated the best of batsmen with their pace and accuracy.
Bumrah, the Player of The Series in ODIs, claimed 16 wickets with a five-wicket haul in the third ODI, which India won by six wickets.
Bhuvneshwar had just six wickets in his kitty with a five-wicket haul, though his batting heroics during the second ODI made him a star in the end. He scored unbeaten 53 runs to help India clinch a three-wicket win.
Young-guns Pandya, Pandey
Young hitters at middle-order, Hardik Pandya and Manish Pandey were the find of the Sri Lanka series as they contributed with great courage in India’s nine-win streak.
The 23-year-old all-rounder from Gujarat, Pandya made 19 runs and claimed four wickets in four ODIs he played. Cherry on the cake was his appearance in the longest format as he slammed 178 runs and took four wickets in three Tests. For a century-knock, Pandya was given the Man Of The Match award in the third Test.
Pandey played just three matches though made best out of opportunity, scoring 51*, 36 and 50 for India in his last three matches.
Losers from Sri Lanka
Besides the winners from the Indian sides, there were losers as well from the other side who cost Sri Lanka a series of defeats. Experienced cricketers Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews were the most disappointing among the young cricketers as they failed to shoulder responsibility and the team had to suffer.
Malinga, 34, claimed just four wickets in five ODIs and one-off T20I, conceding 274 runs in all. All-rounder Mathews was also not much successful with the ball as he managed to claim just two wickets in the six-week long series.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella emerged as lone warrior in the struggling side. The 24-year-old southpaw batsman scored 227 runs in Tests and 141 runs in the limited-over matches, facing the out-and-out bowling attack by Indians.