Sri Lanka’s 2-1 triumph over India is a significant turnaround in a payoff in the accentuation on the new. In that perspective it is a shot in the arm for the future on this new cast skippered by Dasun Shanaka. The high point of it is the gradual blending of these youngsters in a team composition of some who have been around for some years, some not so long ago and some recent youth finds. What is more it has marked a pick up from disastrous tours of Bangladesh and England that underwent a captaincy change with Shanaka replacing Kusal Janith Perera who had been entrusted the job taken off from longtime skipper Dimuth Karunaratne. If Bangladesh and England proved to be tough going, it is the positives of individual performances that has seen a progressive turn for the better. That the home tour against the Indians that started badly by two straight defeats with the final one rain abandoned did fluctuate in the Lankans wriggling out of a defeatist hoodoo to stunning Shiukhar Dhawan’s men 2-1 in the T20 series having lost the opener is high stuff. The gradual cohesion of a young cast that would not come overnight but with the acquiring of experience with each game is the positive of having become the better from the losses in a learning curve.
Having won the final ODI versus the Indians, but lost the opening T20, to have downsised the Indians in the two decisive must win games to creating a piece of history in registering a series defeat over India in 19 years is a double sword edge by Shanaka and his young team. come back on the winning trail with two back to back wins in downsising India was the turning point to that new leaf.
It is the gradual pick up of a new look side from a disastrous three-way tour from Bangladesh to England where the new bucks were ground to the dust and continued in the humiliation of losing at home the ODI series by two straight defeats with the third rain abandoned to an Indian side that was without several regular players including skipper Virat Kohli.
Having seen off India chasing down 132 for 5 to finishing on 133 for 6 off 19.4 overs, Sri Lanka rounded it off by a facile 7 wicket-triumph with 33 balls to spare. India, put into bat were put out of the contest in next to no time with Wanindu Hasaranga capping his 24th birthday in the magic of 4 wickets for 9 runs with the Indians at sea on 81 for 8 on the magical leg spin of Wanindu Hasaranga in Thursday’s decisive final contest at the R. Premadasa Stadium. The double rewards of the Player of the Match award and Player of the Series award was a manifestation of the all-round potential the youngster has brought to the game.
The series also marked a personal triumph as much for Dasun Shanaka by the series win in the wake of having led Sri Lanka to a 3-nil whitewash against Pakistan in Lahore in 2019.