India swept the series against Sri Lanka 2-0 with a comprehensive 78-run win at Pune with batsmen and bowlers making equally impressive contributions. Navdeep Saini's three-wicket haul and half-centuries from Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul helped India to their second win in the series. Here we discuss the talking points from the final game of the series.

Rahul - Dhawan heating up

KL Rahul against Shikhar Dhawan is now getting fiery after another half-century opening stand at Pune in the final T20I. After a 71-run association at Indore, Rahul and Dhawan put on 97 for the opening wicket, the third successive time in the format that India made a 50-plus opening stand. Facing exactly 36 balls apiece, Rahul and Dhawan made 54 and 52 runs respectively, making the competition between the two tighter than ever before.

Read | IND v SL, 2nd T20I: Iyer's blitz, Saini's spell and other talking points

Sanju Samson's wait, thrill and despair

Sanju Samson last played for India in July 2015, but having been in and around the Indian sides in the past few months, the Kerala wicket-keeper seemed ready to step up at the first opportunity. Walking in at no 3 behind the openers, Samson went downtown first ball, heaving Lakshan Sandakan over long-off for a maximum to announce his return to international cricket. However, his fortune turned into despair pretty soon as Wanidu Hasaranga had him trapped in front next over off the very next delivery he faced. Ironically, he was playing in place of Rishabh Pant who is often accused of doing exactly this. 

Virat Kohli at no 6

Ever seen that before? Not in the recent past at least. Virat Kohli walked in behind Sanju Samson, Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer in the game at Pune as India tried to give opportunities to the two players who had been resigned to the bench for a large part of the last year. While Samson could not grab his chance, Manish once again played a decent hand with an 18-ball 31 from no 4. With Iyer also dismissed soon, Kohli walked in at no 6 and true to his reputation as a consistent T20 batter, made 26 in 17 balls before he was run out in the 18th over.

Shardul Thakur at it again

Remember Shardul Thakur's outstanding cameo against West Indies last month? In the ODI series decider, the tail-ender made a telling contribution with a 6-ball 17 to help India win the series. In the first T20I against Sri Lanka, Thakur went on to grab three wickets in one over to cap off another pretty good performance for India. Here at Pune, Thakur was at it again for India. The Mumbai lower-order batsman walked in with India at 164/6 in the 18th over and slammed an eight-ball 22 studded with two sixes and a four. One of those maximums was a clean strike off Lasith Malinga over long-on, a kind of closure for him considering how Malinga had him trapped in front off the last ball in the thrilling IPL finals last year. 

Read | Shardul Thakur - Ravindra Jadeja - from IPL finals to Cuttack

Saini - Bumrah 

Move over Kulcha already, we have a new bowling combination on the blocks and if the first signs are anything to go by, they are fiery and fast. Navdeep Saini and Jasprit Bumrah first paired up at Indore a few days back and if the junior was on fire then while the senior warmed up after injury, here the two clicked in tandem. 

Bumrah dismissed Danushka Gunathilaka in the first over while Saini bowled a rip-roaring yorker to send Kusal Perera back in the fourth over. Bumrah went for five runs in his two overs while Saini gave away just 13 in his two in the powerplays. With Deepak Chahar out injured and Bhuvneshwar Kumar still finding his way back, Saini and Bumrah will have a chance to forge a long association, one that appears very likely to rule over opponents in Australia later this year in the T20 World Cup.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Punit Paranjpe