A complete performance from India in the Ranchi T20 has levelled the series against Sri Lanka. Rumour has it that after the disaster in Pune, a memo was sent by the BCCI to all the curators in India which said “Enough with the experimenting.We want four! We want six! We want spin!” The Sri Lankans were simply out-gunned in conditions which suited India perfectly. And now, it’s all to play for on Valentine’s Day.
With normal service being resumed by the Indian team, some of our “key observations” from the Ranchi game are set out below.
- Dhawan is here to stay – he smashed his way to a half century in just 22 balls! He really has this knack of scoring just when everyone starts discussing whether he should be dropped. Wonder if he spent some time with Viru to pick up this skill?
- Undoubtedly, Rohit is a master at one day batting. Without wanting to being overly critical, maybe he needs to pick up the pace a bit in T20 games? His strike rate of just over a run a ball is a bit too slow at the top in our opinion.
- There is no one quicker than Dhoni behind the stumps! Definitely one of the best wicketkeepers ever to stand-up to spinners, Dhoni is unconventional and super-effective.Two lightning quick stumpings by the hometown boy must have had Ranchi crowds going crazy! Even more importantly, Dhoni is also one of the only team members who does not have a designer beard. No groomed facial hair for Captain Cool.
- Hardik Pandya did his reputation absolutely no harm in Ranchi. Smashing 27 off 12, he was “energetic” (if not effective) in the field. We see in him the next Andre Russell – Pandya’s game certainly has a Caribbean vibe!
- Watching Rahane bat in T20s is like watching a beautiful painting being destroyed bit by bit. Unfortunately, he will once again go into a major series unlikely to make the playing XI.
- Raina is a monster in India. Period.
- Even though Sanjay Manjrekar claims Jaddu moves like a cheetah, his hair does not move at all. Jaddu uses amazing hair gel. Surely there is an advertising opportunity there.
- First Yuvraj came in on a hat-trick ball and hit a full toss straight to the fielder. Then he didn’t move a muscle even when Rohit claimed a catch off his bowling. He’s been there, done that. He’s seen it all.
- Ashwin’s spell of 3 for 14 in four overs was just great to watch. Glad to see him back into his groove after the pasting in Australia. He will be key for Dhoni over the next few months. His 30* in Pune also showed he can bat.
- Bumrah’s amazing ability to bowl yorkers at the death might just make him the next Joginder Sharma. Wait, scratch that. No one can be the next Joginder Sharma.
- Nehra in the post match ceremony said “Bowling at 140 kmph + has never been an issue for me”. We find that interesting since he looked like he was clocking 137 kmph regularly. Watch this space.
With Chris Morris’s heroics at the Wanderers against England and India’s win against Sri Lanka, Super Sunday awaits. Bet Virat Kohli would love to be out there, instead of tweeting selfies and watching from home!