Just before the start of the Nidahas Trophy, few thought this series would turn out to be a genuine blockbuster, with a controversy that almost led to on-field fisticuffs, a couple of tense finishes, an in-your-face ‘naagin’ dance and a thrilling finale that brought back memories of the legendary Javed Miandad-Sharjah encounter.
This tri-series had it all. With the Indian top brass rested, the youth grabbed the spotlight and turned it into a contest to remember. The young guns all fired and Rohit Sharma’s talented young team was eventually able to keep the inspired Bangladeshis at bay.
Here are all the reasons why this was a memorable series for India.
Cometh the hour, cometh the ‘Hitman’- The stand-in-captain came good when it mattered the most. A scintillating 89 in India’s last group match against Bangladesh followed by a sparkling 56 in the final, Rohit shut up all his critics with his bat.
India’s new teen sensation – The 18-year-old Washington Sundar’s off-breaks didn’t allow the Indian team to feel the void of Kuldeep or Jadeja/Ashwin in the Power Plays. The tall lad bowled 13 overs in the Power Play, giving away only 77 runs and picking up 6 wickets at an economy-rate of 5.92. “He is not afraid of flighting the ball, sets his own field and that says a lot about an individual,” said Rohit Sharma after the final Group stage match against Bangladesh.
The new ‘finisher’- Dinesh Karthik did an MSD as he blasted 29 not out off just 8 balls in the final, ending the competition with a last-ball six. Earlier against Sri Lanka, Karthik hit a crucial, unbeaten 39 to see India through from a difficult situation. Karthik has now made a habit of snatching victory from the opponent’s jaws. Good for India!
Raina shines again
Suresh Raina wins hearts – The veteran southpaw led India’s spectacular show on the field. In the final, Raina’s valiant stops in the outfield gave us a peek into his fitness and agility. A run saved is a run scored for the team, after all.
Chahal’s never-say-die attitude – The spinner’s 3/18 from 4 overs in the final restricted Bangladesh to a score which India believed they could chase. Chahal’s ability to come back strong after he is hit around the park is something India have always benefitted from. More power to him and many more successes ahead!