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Skipper Virat Kohli completed his third bilateral series whitewash with a 5-0 win over the Sri Lankans on Sunday in Colombo. In the batting department, Kohli himself scored 330 runs and lead India's quest with vital performances. However, his main weapon in the series was pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who bagged the man of the series award - on decks conducive for slower bowlers.
"Jasprit has been our most effective short-format bowler in the last 18 months. He has really worked on his bowling a lot - especially his length ball, which has picked up more pace. That's very heartening to see because it never lets the batsmen get settled", Kohli said as reported by ESPN Cricinfo.
"It's not only about yorkers and slower balls any more. He can bowl a good length ball and nick you off as well, which I think is the biggest improvement in his bowling. Credit to him for shaping his game in that way. Getting a Man-of-the Series award in the subcontinent as a fast bowler - it's always a great thing to achieve."
Akila Dananjaya stood out individually but Axar Patel bagged 6 wickets from 4 opportunities and more importantly, did not concede too many runs to keep the pressure consistently on the hosts in the middle stages.
"Axar, being a conventional spinner, varied his pace and I think it was outstanding. He didn't let the batsmen get on top of him. That's a remarkable thing - when you don't have any variation in your bowling and you still don't let guys score. I think it's the height that really helps him getting that extra bounce and the extra pace he can generate. He's got a very strong shoulder and people find it difficult to sweep him."
Yuzvendra Chahal snared 5 while Kuldeep Yadav took 3 in the last 2 matches that he played but Kohli understands the weightage of wrist spinners and how they prove to be an attacking option always. The skipper lauded Chahal and Kuldeep for matching up to the management's expectations.
"Kuldeep and Chahal being wrist spinners will always keep you in the game. I certainly felt that all three of them were pretty spot on with attacking all the time. It really helped us get those crucial wickets in the middle overs, and at the same time, helped us control the run rate as well. You might see changes in the bowling attack every now and then but these guys have grabbed the opportunity really well."
Stressing on bringing a vital X factor into the game, Kohli believed that if unpredictability doubles up with their current performance, the combination would yield more results.
"Once we start playing like this and get more confident with the roles that we're given, then we can be more unpredictable. With the kind of talent that we have in the side if we can be unpredictable as well, then it becomes a lethal combination. Teams will find it difficult to set a pattern against us and we'll always stay ahead of the game or at least try to. More often than not we'll end up executing those things."
India will aim for a complete tour whitewash from Wednesday in first of the three T20Is.