New Delhi: In absence of skipper Virat Kohli, who also happens to be the top dog in limited-overs' cricket, India did well to win the ODI series 2-1 against Sri Lanka.
Despite starting the series with a heavy defeat in Dharamshala, Rohit Sharma led the side to convincing wins in the next two matches. Rohit himself played a record-breaking knock, his third ODI double ton in the second match, but the series sure belonged to Shikhar Dhawan.
The 32-year-old was one of the four batsmen who scored a duck in Dharamshala as Lankan pacers made a killing on an unplayable top. MS Dhohi helped India avoid the ignominy of registering their lowest ever ODI score.
It was followed by similar pitch talk ahead of the crucial Mohali ODI. A defeat in Punjab would have spelt doom for a Kohli-less India. But there was no such tragedy for India as Rohit played an unbeaten double hundred. It was one wondrous knock from the Hitman himself, but what allowed the stand-in captain to play with freely was the presence of Dhawan.
The left-handed opener was pivotal India setting up a 115-run opening stand with Rohit, and until his departure in the 22nd over, was the leading scorer. India won the match by 141 runs. Then, in Vizag, Dhawan scored an unbeaten hundred to help India chase down a tricky 216-run target with ease.
And he won both the man of the match and series awards.
Here's what the Delhi batsman achieved during the series:
1. Scored his 12th century in ODIs.
2. Recorded four centuries against Sri Lanka - the most by him against a team.
3. Averaging 53.75 in wins, with a tally of 2903 runs thanks to ten centuries and 17 fifties, in 58 matches.
4. Crossed the 4000-run mark in just 95 innings. Only five players have taken fewer innings than him - Hashim Amla (81), Vivian Richards (88), Joe Root (91), Kohli (93) and David Warner (93).
5. His 12 tons in 95 innings is the fifth quickest in ODIs - Quinton de Kock (74 innings), Amla (81), Kohli (83) and Warner (90).
6. For the third time, he got the Player of the Series award in ODIs.
He will look to carry on the momentum when the neighbours resumed their rivalry in T20Is. The first of the three matches will be played on Wednesday (20) in Cuttack.