New Delhi: India emerged victorious in the three-match Test series under skipper Virat Kohli, ending a 22-year-old barren run on Lankan soil. India won the series 2-1 and was led by an impressive performance by the bowlers to get them home despite a fight from the hosts.
It was a crucial victory for India on foreign soil and the skipper must be lauded for guiding the team especially being 1-0 down. What impressed most was the solid partnership between Indian bowlers who garnered maximum positivity from this series.
We look at three things we learned from India's 2-1 series win against Sri Lanka.
Matured Ravichandran Ashwin has grown in stature: What ticked India's bowling so well was the emphatic performance of star spinner R Ashwin. Being a senior member of the side, Ashwin bowled with purpose and made sure he attacked the Lankan batsmen. Ashwin also became a menace for Kumar Sangakkara in the first two Tests and was helped by some impressive catches taken by close-in fielders throughout the series. He finished with 21 wickets and was by far the best player in the series.
Ishant Sharma's aggression serves him best: Ishant delivered the goods for his skipper and was the knight in the shining armour especially in the final Test. The Delhi pacer struck eight wickets in a delightful spell of bowling that saw a lot of aggression and hunger. Getting key wickets in crucial junctures served well for Ishant as he showed his knowledge of the game has expanded. Entering the 200-wicket bracket and 13 wickets in the series, will up Ishant's confidence and that serves a big boost for India with the series against South Africa next.
Virat Kohli's five-bowler strategy does wonders: Kohli's five-bowler strategy worked well for the team and India's options never looked short and agile. Kohli led the team to a defining series win and rotated the bowlers well throughout the Tests. Despite India's shortcomings in the first Test, Kohli showed he is a quick learner and his team rallied around him to get results in the following two Tests. His confidence on Amit Mishra was a vital move and also getting Stuart Binny as the fifth option in the last two Tests was a smart move by the skipper.