India can look back on an excellent come-from-behind series win against a competitive Bangladesh unit with pride, and in the knowledge that their quest to identify prospects for next year’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia is on the right track.
After the defeat in New Delhi, the established duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and skipper Rohit Sharma stood out in the Rajkot victory. Come the decider, and the younger guns put their hands up, which was particularly heartening given the pressure and the occasion.
KL Rahul provided another glimpse of why he is rated so highly with an excellent knock on a tricky surface in Nagpur. He did so by sticking to his strengths and playing conventional strokes, relying more on timing than power. Equally impressive was Shreyas Iyer, who has gone a long way towards establishing himself as the elusive No. 4.
When KL was blazing away, Shreyas was content to play second fiddle. Once he became the lead partner with a struggling Rishabh Pant for company, he took over the lead role, shifting gears effortlessly. Not only did he showcase his ability, Shreyas also showed intelligence by targeting the sixth bowler. That’s a great combination to possess at No. 4 where, depending on the situation, you will have to embrace different avatars.
India were a bowler light after leaving out Krunal Pandya. That, combined with the heavy dew, meant 174 wasn’t as many as they appeared, and Bangladesh seemed to have things in control at 110 for two when Rohit showcased his leadership skills. He used his resources beautifully and his strong words in the team huddle after Mithun’s dismissal galvanised his troops.
Shivam Dube, in only his third international and more of a batting all-rounder, started to mix his pace up and was rewarded with three wickets, but the real star was Deepak Chahar, who picked up a hat-trick on his way to the best ever T20I figures.
Chahar’s evolution has been fascinating to track. At one stage an out-and-out swing bowler, he has added more weapons to his repertoire and is now capable of taking wickets at any stage of an innings. He has the rare knack of getting into the minds of batsmen and therefore anticipating their moves.
He also showed great heart in embracing the lead bowler’s role, and his exploits will have gladdened the think-tank more than anything else.
Bangladesh will rue lost opportunities, especially in Nagpur, for not being able to build on their win in Delhi but India seized the key moments, reflected in their 2-1 victory.