India outplayed Sri Lanka by seven wickets at Indore to go 1-0 up in the three-match series where the first game was washed out entirely. Here we take a glance at the talking points from the second T20I.
Bumrah's return, but Saini's day
The much-awaited passage of play in Indore was Jasprit Bumrah's return after injury. With India opting to bowl first, Bumrah took the new ball and sent down a pretty good opening over. But what the crowd expected from Bumrah came from fellow pacer Navdeep Saini who sent down an extraordinary yorker to dismiss Danushka Gunathilaka. He later went on to snare Bhanuka Rajapaksa with a 140+ kmph bumper to finish with figures of 2 for 18 in four overs.
Kusal Perera and Indore
The last time these teams played at this venue, Kusal Perera made a blinding 37-ball 77 studded with seven sixes. That came in a losing cause because India had mercilessly piled on 260 courtesy a Rohit Sharma ton, and here the story was no different as he waged a lone battle with 34 off 28 balls. Even as Kuldeep Yadav was hit for a couple of sixes, Perera eventually fell to the chinaman spinner before he could inflict bigger damage.
Shardul Thakur is almost there
Last time he played a limited-overs game for India, Shardul Thakur shone with the bat, making a six-ball 17 against West Indies. With his place under scrutiny almost every time he plays, Thakur decided to put up a good follow-through performance, this time with the ball. The Mumbai seamer bowled an excellent death over, leaking just three runs and picking up three wickets including two off the final two balls.
Rahul vs Dhawan heating up
This series was dubbed as a showdown between KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan for one batting spot by skipper Virat Kohli even before it kickstarted. At Indore, with 143 to chase, Rahul edged ahead of Dhawan with a 32-ball 45, although the southpaw made a decent looking 29-ball 32 himself. In a 71-run opening stand, Rahul was the aggressor in chief and with his indomitable T20 numbers, it really is a no-brainer as to whom should partner Rohit Sharma once he is back.
Shreyas Iyer vs spin is fiery
There are few better sights in cricket these days than Shreyas Iyer digging into spinners. A mainstay in India's middle-order in the limited-overs matches, Iyer has a penchant for taking on the opposition spinners and at Indore he targeted Wanidu Hasaranga with utmost ease. He scored two fours - one off a loft down the ground and another off a sweep - before a six into the third tier ended a 17-run over that totally tilted the balance of the game India's way. Iyer was dismissed two overs later but with a 26-ball 34, his job was done.
Feature image courtesy: Punit Paranjpe/ AFP