Broken Cricket Dreams Logo

Bangladesh Tours of New Zealand & Sri Lanka 2021 Review: Dissecting Bangladesh’s Horror As Youth Prevails for NZ, SL

Bangladesh tours of New Zealand & Sri Lanka review.

It seemed that instead of a complete tour, Bangladesh played several small series over the last few months. The Tigers played 3-match ODI & T20I series in New Zealand, then a 2-match Test series in Sri Lanka, followed by 3 ODIs at home against the same opposition.

The last couple of months can be summed up with a disappointment for Bangladesh but some positive news at the end for the currently #1 ranked team in the ODI Super League. Good finds by the Kiwis and Lankans as well.

Also Read: Ross Taylor’s Fan Tribute, West Indies tour of Bangladesh Review, Australia Vs New Zealand Series Review

Bangladesh Tours of New Zealand & Sri Lanka – The Results

NZ-Ban ODI Series: New Zealand won 3-0

* Player of Match

  1. New Zealand won by 8 wickets *Trent Boult
  2. New Zealand won by 5 wickets *Tom Latham
  3. New Zealand won by 164 runs *Devon Conway
Player of SeriesNew Zealand
Devon Conway
Most RunsDevon Conway – 225 runs
(best of 126, 75 average, 88.23 SR, 100s-1, 50s-1)
Mahmudullah – 119 runs
(best of 76*, 59.50 average, 82.06 SR, 50s-1)
Most WicketsJimmy Neesham – 7 wickets
(best of 5/27, 18.14 average, 5.14 economy)
Rubel Hossain – 3 wickets
(best of 3/70, 23.33 average, 7.00 economy)
New Zealand Vs Bangladesh 2021 ODI Series Stats

NZ-Ban T20I Series: New Zealand won 3-0

  1. New Zealand won by 66 runs *Devon Conway
  2. New Zealand won by 28 runs (D/L method) *Glenn Phillips
  3. New Zealand won by 65 runs *Finn Allen
Player of Series New Zealand
Glenn Phillips
Most RunsDevon Conway – 107 runs
(best of 92*, 107 average, SR 175.40)
Mohammad Naim – 84 runs
(best of 38, 28 average, 127.27 SR)
Most WicketsTim Southee – 6 wickets
(best of 3/15, 11.66 average, 7.00 economy)
Mahedi Hasan – 4 wickets
(best of 2/45, 29.00 average, 11.60 economy)
New Zealand Vs Bangladesh 2021 T20I Series Stats

SL-Ban Test Series: Sri Lanka won 1-0

  1. Match Drawn *Dimuth Karunaratne
  2. Sri Lanka won by 209 runs *Praveen Jayawickrama
Player of SeriesSri Lanka
Dimuth Karunaratne
Most RunsDimuth Karunaratne – 428 runs
(best of 244, 142.66 average, 100s-2, 50s-1)
Tamim Iqbal – 280 runs
(best of 92, average 93.33, 50s-3)
Most WicketsPraveen Jayawickrama – 11 wickets
(Best Innings – 6/92, Best Match – 11/178, average 16.18)
Taskin Ahmed – 8 wickets
(Best Innings 4/127, Best Match – 5/133, average 33.12)

Ban-SL ODI Series: Bangladesh won 2-1

  1. Bangladesh won by 33 runs*Mushfiqur Rahim
  2. Bangladesh won by 103 runs (D/L method)*Mushfiqur Rahim
  3. Sri Lanka won by 97 runs*Dushmantha Chameera
Player of Series Bangladesh
Mushfiqur Rahim
Sri Lanka
Most RunsMushfiqur Rahim – 237 runs
(best of 125, 79.00 average, 88.43 SR, 1-100, 1-50)
Kusal Perera – 164 runs
(best of 120, 54.66 average, 87.70 SR, 1-100)
Most Wickets Mehidy Hasan Miraz – 7 wickets
(best of 3/16, 16.16 average, 3.88 economy)
Dushmantha Chameera – 9 wickets
(best of 5/16, 1100 average, 3.78 economy)

Major Moments

There were numerous moments in this Bangladesh tours of New Zealand & Sri Lanka. Here are the major takeaways.

New Zealand

Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, & Daryl Mitchell solidified their places during this tour

  • After his Test ton against Pakistan, Mitchell scored 100* (92) in the 3rd ODI, pushing New Zealand to 318/6. Quickfire 34* (16) in the rain-curtailed 2nd T20I as well. It is a shame that he is not a regular due to the rich presence of Colin de Grandhomme & Mitchell Santner.
  • Devon Conway has now conquered Test cricket with a double century at Lord’s, but before that his debut ODI series against Bangladesh included a fifty and a maiden century—126 in the 3rd ODI. Highest scorer in both the ODI & T20I series and donned the gloves as well.
  • Glenn Phillips finished the first T20I with a blistering 24* (10) along with a 58* (23) in the 2nd T20I, rescuing NZ from 55-3 in 6.1 overs to 173/5 in 17.5 overs.

New Zealand are now unearthing fast bowlers & youngsters at an alarming rate. Tim Seifert, Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Blundell & Devon Conway have all performed in the past season, and the Kiwis can now add Finn Allen & Will Young to that list after the T20I series.

  • Prior to the T20I series, Will Young had a total of 60 runs in 2 Tests & 2 ODIs. He announced himself with 53 (30) with four sixes in the first T20I to cement his place in the T20I squad for the near future.
  • Finn Allen’s blistering 71* (29) was an innings of a lifetime. 10 fours, 3 sixes, and an 85 run partnership with Martin Guptill in just 5.4 overs. The Kiwis ended with 141/4 in a ten-over game. Bangladesh?—76 all out.

The return of Martin Guptill & Tim Southee

In Williamson’s absence, Latham captained the ODI series while Tim Southee took the T20I reigns. Latham justified his selection with a match winning 110* (108) in a successful 272 run-chase.

  • With youngsters knocking on the doors, several questions on the seniors. Ross Taylor is already out of the T20I squad with the influx of talent, and Guptill & Southee were under the scanner.
  • After the successful Australia series, Guptill responded with scores of 38, 20, 26, 35, 21, & 44 in this series. Does not look ultra-impressive but strike rates of 200.00, 83.33, 92.85, 129.62, 116.66, & 231.57 were exactly the kind of starts New Zealand expect from Guptill. Needs to convert soon though.
  • Southee’s 3/15 in the 3rd T20I removed any hope for Bangladesh’s chase. Ended as the highest wicket-taker in the T20I series and now performing in the England Tests. 2nd wind for the 32 year old?

Anyway, these were just the major moments. Comeback for Adam Milne along with good outings for Jimmy Neesham, Todd Astle (4/13), Ish Sodhi (4/28), Matt Henry (4/27), Lockie Ferguson.


Batting, Youngsters, & Overseas Victories a Concern For Bangladesh

  • From March 20th to May 23rd, Bangladesh lost 6 consecutive matches in New Zealand & lost the Test series 0-1 in Sri Lanka. Over the two Tests, Bangladesh were on the field for 4-5 days, which contributed to mental fatigue. These overseas series really hurt Bangladesh’s confidence, and even though they finally won the home ODI series that followed, they did not play well according to captain Tamim Iqbal.
  • Apart from the 2nd ODI & 2nd T20I against NZ, Bangladesh’s score read 131/10 (41.5), 154/10 in 42.4 (after being 8/102), 6/59 (7.5), & 76/10 (9.3). In the Sri Lanka ODI series, Rahim-Mahmudlluah rescued Bangaldesh from 99/4 (22.6), 74/4 (15.4), and 84/4 in 23.2 (en route 189/10). Top order issues galore.
  • 19,0, 21, 0, 4, 6,0, 0, 25 read Liton Das’ limited overs scores – 4 ducks. Test scores of 50, 8 & 17 not much better. I really hope Liton Das has a Rohit Sharma-esque 2013 resurrection given his immense talent. Six years since his debut, Das averages 20.83 (T20I), 28.78 (ODI), & 28.35 (Tests) in 117 innings. Only 3 centuries and 15 fifties. Cannot depend on Tamim Iqbal forever, especially with Mohammad Naim & Soumya Sarkar blowing hot and cold.

The M Factor & Absence of Shakib Al Hasan Felt Dearly

  • Although Shakib Al Hasan returned in the Sri Lanka ODI series, he was sorely missed in the New Zealand leg. In the spin bowling department, there were brief sparks, but not much else, from Nasum Ahmed & name twins—Mahedi Hasan & Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who bowled in tandem. Lacking in control & consistency.
  • At one point, Sri Lanka used to have the M Factor. In the Sri Lanka ODI series, Bangladesh unleashed the M Factor of their own—Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim, & Mustafizur Rahman.
    • Opening the bowling, Mehidy’s miserly 4/30 & 3/28 were match-winning spells. Bodes well if 2023 World Cup in India has these slow pitches.
    • Although not back at his best yet, Mustafizur Rahman is slowly getting there (see Jarrod Kimber’s analysis here). His slow off-cutters are back and his 6-1-16-3 in the 2nd ODI was especially good (to go with 9-0-34-3 in first ODI).
    • Highest run-scorer at #4 since the 2015 World Cup, Mushfiqur Rahim has to be one of the most underrated players of this era. This series showed exactly why with his 84 (87) & 125 (127) sealing the deal for Bangladesh.
    • Mahmudullah was the only saving grace in NZ with a 76* in the final ODI. Followed it up with 54, 41, 53 in the SL series. Mushfiqur-Mahmudullah emerging as legendary lower order ODI rescue partners.

Still Some Positives For the Tigers

  • Captains Tamim Iqbal & Mominul Haque provide consistency. Looks like the split captaincy is working. Adding to Najmul Hossain Shanto’s 163, Mominul scored a defiant ton in Sri Lanka, while Tamim has a few 50s (92 & 90 in SL Tests) on these two tours. Only if the team starts winning now…
  • It looked like Bangladesh had turned a corner in the 2015 World Cup with a pace attack of Mashrafe Mortaza, Rubel Hossain, & Taskin Ahmed. Taskin’s decline was heartbreaking but he is back among the wickets with 8 wickets in the Test series. With decent find in 20-year old Shoriful Islam, a lineup of Mustafizur-Mehidy-Taskin-Saifuddin-Shoriful-Shakib might be exactly what the Tigers need.

Sri Lanka

  • Sri Lanka are rocking some young left-arm spinners. Embuldeniya earlier this year and now Praveen Jayawickrama with a 11-wicket haul on debut. This included two 5-fers, 6/92 & 5/86 as Sri Lanka won the Test series.
  • Karunatarane (244, 118, 66) Thirimanne (58, 140), Dhananjaya de Silva (166, 41), Niroshan Dickwella (31, 77*) had dream batting days that took Sri Lanka to scores of 684/8d, 493/7d, 194/9d. They did not get bowled out even once.
  • Dusmantha Chameera has one of Sri Lanka’s bright stars amidst their downfall. He improved over the course of thh ODI series with figures of 1/39, 3/44, and a match-winning spell of 9-1-16-5. Winning hand by new-ODI captain Kusal Perera in the final ODI as well – 120 (122).
  • Thisara Perera, star of the 2014 T20 WC final victory unexpectedly announced his retirement at the age of 32, having played seven world cups for Sri Lanka.

Squad Predictions for T20I World Cup

Here are my early squad predictions for the 23-member T20I World Cup Squad based on the NZ-Ban T20I series. Kane Williamson’s spot in danger?

New Zealand

  1. Martin Guptill, 2. Tim Seifert (WK), 3. Kane Williamson*, 4. Devon Conway, 5. Glenn Phillips, 6. Colin de Grandhomme, 7. Mitchell Santner, 8. Tim Southee, 9. Trent Boult, 10. Lockie Ferguson, 11. Ish Sodhi

Squad: 12. Finn Allen, 13. Will Young, 14. Jimmy Neesham, 15. Daryl Mitchell, 16. Kyle Jamieson, 17. Todd Astle, 18. Hamish Bennett, 19. Blair Tickner, 20. Jacob Duffy, 21. Mark Chapman, 22. Ross Taylor, 23. Doug Bracewell/Scott Kuggeleijn



  1. Tamim Iqbal, 2. Liton Das, 3. Soumya Sarkar, 4. Mushfiqur Rahim (WK), Shakib Al Hasan, 6. Mahmudullah, 7. Afif Hossain, 8. Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 9. Mohammad Saifuddin, 10. Mustafizur Rahman, 11. Taskin Ahmed

Squad: 12. Mohammad Naim, 13. Najmul Hossain Shanto, 14. Mosaddek Hossain, 15. Mahedi Hasan, 16. Nasum Ahmed, 17. Shoriful Islam, 18. Rubel Hossain, 19. Mohammad Mithun, 20. Al-Amin Hossain, 21. Hasan Mahmud, 22. Abu Haider, 23. Sabbir Rahman


Here are the awards for Bangladesh Tours of New Zealand & Sri Lanka.

BangladeshNew ZealandSri Lanka
Emerging PlayerMahedi HasanFinn AllenPraveen Jayawickrama
Surprise PackageTaskin Ahmed in Sri LankaDaryl Mitchell, Will YoungDimuth Karunaratne
Broken Cricket DreamBangladesh cricket on a downfall?BJ Watling to retire; Ross Taylor’s retirement on the way?Flat Road Pitches in the first Test

Thisara Perera retires
Series Awards

Where Do They Go From Here?

Although Bangladesh had a tough two months, they are sitting at the top of the ODI Super League Table with 5 wins from 9 matches. New Zealand are on #5 (3/3) and Sri Lanka are struggling at #13 (1/6). Bangladesh have no upcoming series for a while.

New Zealand are currently in England for 2 Tests & World Test Championship final. Apart from the forthcoming T20 leagues, the Kiwis have no assignments till the T20 World Cup in October-November. After the World Cup, New Zealand has a short limited overs tour of Australia in January 2022.

Sri Lanka travel to England for 3 T20Is & 3 ODIs in June followed by a home series against India for 3 ODIs & 3 T20Is in July. Later in February Sri Lanka will follow NZ’s suit and travel to Australia for 5 T20Is.

Comment below for your favorite moments in Bangladesh tours of New Zealand & Sri Lanka! Subscribe for more below! Share with your friends as well! Here is our Facebook Twitter pages.

Copyright (2021: 6/8/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X –

West Indies Vs Sri Lanka 2021 Series Review: Positives Galore For the Windies In An Enthralling Series

Time for West Indies Vs Sri Lanka 2021 Test Series Review—one of the most competitive series in recent times.

A dream for neutral fans. This series just had so many moments!

  • The return of Fidel Edwards, Gayle, and Dwayne Bravo to the T20I setup
  • Akila Dananjaya’s hat-trick & Kieron Pollard’s 6 sixes (in the same game), Hasaranga’s guile, Holder & Allen’s finishing abilites
  • West Indies’ rising HOPE (tons for Hope-Lewis-Darren Bravo)
  • Suranga Lakmal’s toil, Thirimanne’s resurgence, Dickwella’s non-hundred
  • Cornwall’s counterattack, another Bonner-Mayers-Silva 5th Day Test match, Kraigg Brathwaite’s marathon batting effort
  • Curtly Ambrose & Ian Bishop on commentary.

Without further ado, here is the series review for you!

Read till the end for my picks for World T20 World Cup Squad Predictions, video highlights, best moments, emerging players, and much more!

Also Read: West Indies Vs Bangladesh Review, West Indies Vs New Zealand Review

Results – West Indies Vs Sri Lanka

T20I Series: West Indies Win 2-1

* Player of Match

  1. West Indies won by 4 wickets *Kieron Pollard
  2. Sri Lanka won by 43 runs*PWH de Silva
  3. West Indies won by 3 wickets*Fabian Allen
Player of SeriesWest Indies Sri Lanka
Most RunsLendl Simmons – 73
(best of 26, 140.38 SR)
Pathum Nissanka – 81 runs
(best of 39, 115.71 SR)
Most WicketsObed McCoy – 4 wickets
(best of 2/25, 7.33 Economy)
PWH de Silva (Hasaranga) – 8 wickets
(best of 3/12, 3.50 Economy)
West Indies Vs Sri Lanka 2021 T20I Series Stats

ODI Series: West Indies Win 3-0

  1. West Indies won by 8 wickets*Shai Hope
  2. West Indies won by 5 wickets*Evin Lewis
  3. West Indies won by 5 wickets*Darren Bravo
Player of SeriesWest Indies
Shai Hope
Sri Lanka
Most RunsShai Hope – 258 runs
(best of 110, 100s-1, 50s-2, 86.00 average, 82.42 SR)
Danushka Gunathilaka -187 runs
(best of 96, 50s-2, 62.33 average, 95.89 SR)
Most WicketsJason Mohammed – 6 wickets
(best of 3/47, 18.00 average, 4.50 Economy)
Thisara Perera – 3 wickets
(best of 2/45, 24.00 average, 6.00 economy)
West Indies Vs Sri Lanka 2021 ODI Series Stats

Test Series: Drawn 0-0

  1. Match Drawn*Nkrumah Bonner
  2. Match Drawn*Kraigg Brathwaite
Player of SeriesWest Indies Sri Lanka
Suranga Lakmal
Most RunsKraigg Brathwaite – 237 runs
(best of 126, 100-1, 50s-1, average 59.25, balls faced 674)
Lahiru Thirimanne – 240 runs
(best of 76, 50s-3, 60.00 average, balls faced 601)
Most WicketsKemar Roach – 9 wickets
(best innings 3/47, best match 6/121, 23.55 average, 73 overs bowled)
Suranga Lakmal – 11 wickets
(best innings 5/47, best match 6/156, 1 5-fer, 21.45 average, 92 overs bowled)
West Indies Vs Sri Lanka 2021 Test Series Stats

The Moments

West Indies

1. A Tale of Three Captains: Holder, Pollard, Brathwaite

After West Indies’ remarkable victory against Bangladesh, stand-in Kraigg Brathwaite was made the permanent captain, replacing Jason Holder. Any claims of clash of egos, however, was much unfounded. Each of them contributed with the bat and Holder was even vocal on the field. Here is how they performed:

  • Pollard: 38 (11) w/ 6 sixes in 1st T20I, 53* (42) in 3rd ODI
  • Brathwaite: In Bangladesh, he scored 76 & 20 and 47 & 6. Stable but no daddy hundreds. This time, he made amends with 126 (311) & 85 (196). His 813 minutes marathon effort broke the all-time West Indies record, surpassing the likes of Darren Bravo, Brian Lara, Desmond Haynes, & Gordon Greenidge.
  • Holder: He might not be the captain of the West Indies, but showed that he is still the #1 Test All-Rounder in the world. With 5/72 & 5th day match-saving contributions of 18* and 71* in the two Tests, his calm influence was evident. In the T20Is, scores of 29* and 14* might not look like much, but defending Hasaranga in the 18th over, so Fabian Allen could finish it off with 3 sixes was one of my moments of the series.

2. The Return of Hope to West Indies Cricket

110, 84, & 64—Hope is back. With 10 centuries, 19 50s, & 53.74 average, he is one of best ODI batsman in recent times along with Babar Azam & Virat Kohli. With John Campbell struggling for runs, expect a Test recall.

When Hope does not score a ton, Evin Lewis will. Returned with 65 & 103. When neither of them scored a hundred, Darren Bravo came back with a ton.

Their strike rates were in question, but healthy top order partnerships is the positive for the Windies.

3. Nkrumah Bonner-Kyle Mayers Partnership No Fluke

At the age of 32, Bonner has toiled hard enough in first class cricket. Bonner narrowly missed his ton in Bangladesh with 86 & 90 in Bangladesh, but his dream came true with a 113* in the first test.

A couple of 50s for Kyle Mayers & handy partnerships with Joshua de Silva shows that the Bangladesh tour was no fluke.

4. A Word on Rakheem Cornwall

Time to appreciate Rakheem Cornwall. Bowled his heart out in the spinning pitches of Bangladesh, and without his counter-attacking knocks of 61 & 73, West Indians might have lost 0-2 against Sri Lanka at home. Let Rakheem be Rakheem.

Embed from Getty Images

Sri Lanka

1. Suranga Lakmal Bowls His Heart Out Yet Again

Suranga Lakmal could have easily slotted in one of the great Sri Lankan teams of the past. Unfortunately, after Herath’s retirement, he has to single handedly carry the Sri Lankan bowling on his shoulders. Highest wicket-taker across both sides and bowling 92 overs as a fast bowler in 2 tests—Commendable effort.

2. Hasaranga & Nissanka the Find For Sri Lanka

While Embuldeniya & Axar Patel bamboozled the English sides, the West Indies struggled against Hasaranga. If Sri Lanka are to progress further, watch out for the Embuldeniya-Hasaranga-Dhananjaya partnership.

Test century (103) on debut—Pathum Nissanka —take a bow! Followed it up with a 50 in the next innings. With Oshada Fernando also in good touch, finally good signs for Sri Lanka.

Talent ✔. Next goal — consistency.

3. Thirimanne Delivers A Decade Later

Thirimanne averages 25.87 now after a decade and 40 Tests to his name. Finally some consistency in the last four Tests with 2 centuries, 3 fifties (on this tour), a 43 & a 39.

Sri Lanka might have found a stable line up in Karunaratne, Thirimanne, Nissanka, Fernando, Mathews, and Dickwella. Speaking of Dickwella, so close yet so far. Scored his highest score of 92 (after 43 Tests). Brilliant character.

Also Read: Lasith Malinga, The Slinga, The Slayer, The SuperStar

Also Read: Carlos Brathwaite’s Broken Dream, Nicholas Pooran’s Inspirational Story

Squad Predictions for T20I World Cup

With 23-men squad for the T20I world possible now, here are my early squad predictions. A good mix of experience & youth for the Windies.

West Indies

  1. Lendl Simmons, 2. Evin Lewis, 3. Shimron Hetmyer, 4. Kieron Pollard*, 5. Nicholas Pooran, 6. Rovman Powell, 7. Andre Russell, 8. Fabian Allen, 9. Kevin Sinclair, 10. Sheldon Cottrell, 11. Obed McCoy

Squad: 12. Jason Holder, 13. Chris Gayle, 14. Dwayne Bravo, 15. Andre Fletcher, 16. Darren Bravo, 17. Keemo Paul, 18. Alzarri Joseph, 19. Oshane Thomas, 20. Fidel Edwards, 21. Akeal Hosein, 22. Hayden Walsh Jr., 23. Kesrick Williams/ Chamar Holder


Sri Lanka

  1. Danushka Gunathilaka, 2. Pathum Nissanka, 3. Niroshan Dickwella (WK), 4. Dinesh Chandimal, 5. Angelo Mathews, 6. Thisara Perara, 7. Dasun Shanaka*, 8. Akila Dananjaya, 9. PWH de Silva, 10. Dushmantha Chameera, 11. Lakshan Sandakan

Squad: 12. Ashen Bandara, 13. Asitha Fernando, 14. Nuwan Pradeep, 15. Oshada Fernando, 16. Suranga Lakmal, 17. Ramesh Mendis, 18. Kamindu Mendis, 19. Dilshan Madushanka, 20. Suranga Lakmal, 21. Dimuth Karunaratne, 22. Avishka Fernando, 23. Lasith Malinga


West Indies Sri Lanka
Emerging PlayerFabian Allen Hasaranga, Pathum Nissanka
Surprise PackageDarren BravoLahiru Thirimanne
Broken Cricket DreamWhy Only 2 Home Tests?
Chris Gayle’s T20I form?
Angelo Mathews returns home
West Indies Vs Sri Lanka 2021 Series Awards

Where Do They Go From Here?

Great Test cricket in recent times, and the West Indies Vs Sri Lanka series lived up to the billing—first 0-0 draw in the last 5 years. Sri Lanka follow this with two Test matches against Bangladesh in April at home(to complete matches from the pandemic).

With neither side qualifying for the WTC final, the next major tournament is the T20I World Cup. Gayle, Hetmyer, Pooran, Pollard, Bravo & Russell have reached for the IPL, while Sri Lanka has zero players in the IPL (once Sangakkara-Jayawardene used to captain IPL teams). In June, Sri Lanka will travel to England for 3 T20Is & 3 ODIs to prepare for the World Cup.

Finally, in Jan-Feb of 2022, England tour West Indies for 5 T20Is & 3 Tests, returning their generous favor of restarting cricket last summer.

Comment below for your favorite moments & squad predictions! Subscribe for more below! Share with your friends as well! Here is our Facebook Twitter pages.

Copyright (2021: 4/10/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X –

Image Courtesy: Featured Image – Own Work, Getty Images (Cornwall)

India Vs England 2021 Test Series Review: Sharmas, Spinners Overshadowed By Umpiring, Pitch, and Rotation Policy

India Vs England 2021 Test Series Review.

We billed this series as the “Final Before the (WTC) Final” and after overseas victories for both India (vs Australia) and England (Vs Sri Lanka), the series had hype for the right reasons.

Instead this series will be remembered for exactly the wrong reasons—Discussions about the pitches in Chennai & Pink Ball Test, rotation policy & England’s treatment of Moeen Ali, and hasty umpiring decisions (along with Kohli’s priceless reactions).

There were some good days for cricket as well with Ishant Sharma’s 100 Tests & 300 wickets, Joe Root’s 218, Anderson’s dream over, Foakes’ & Pant’s wicket-keeping, R Ashwin’s 100 & 9-fer, Ashwin’s 32 & Axar’s 27 wickets, Sundar’s 85* & 96*, Rohit Sharma’s masterclass, and Pant’s reverse sweep (to Anderson) in a brilliant 100.

Read till the end for my picks for the best moments, emerging players, controversies, and much more! COMMENT BELOW ON YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS.

*Note: Underlined & Bolded links are videos. Underlined without bold are links to other articles.

Results – England Vs India

The reason why I did not enjoy this series as much was due to the lack of competitiveness. 227 runs, 317 runs, 10 wickets, and an innings victory was in complete contrast to the edge-of-the-seat stuff (last session draws/chases) in the Australia series.

Test Series: India Win 3 – 1

* Player of Match

  1. England Won by 227 Runs *Joe Root
  2. India Won by 317 runs *Ravichandran Ashwin
  3. India Won by 10 wickets *Axar Patel
  4. India Won by An Innings and 25 runs *Rishabh Pant
Player of SeriesEnglandIndia
Ravichandran Ashwin – 189 runs (best of 106, average 31.50, 1 – 100)
Most RunsJoe Root – 368 runs
(best of 218, average 46.00, 100s/50s – 1/0)
Rohit Sharma – 345 runs
(best of 161, average 57.50, 100s/50s -1/1
Most WicketsJack Leach – 18 wickets
(best innings – 4/54, best match – 6/178, 28.72 average, strike rate 53.6)
R Ashwin – 32 wickets
(best innings – 6/61, best match – 9/207, 14.71 average, 35.2 SR, 3 5-fers
India Vs England 2021 Test Series Stats

The Highlights


1. We Miss The Non-Converting Joe Root

At the beginning of 2021, Joe Root’s stats read 17-100s, 49-50s. After the Sri Lanka & India tours, his stats read 20-100s, 49-50s. His last 6 Test matches show:

  • 228 & 1 (run-out), 186 & 11, 218 & 40
  • 6 & 33, 17 & 19, 5 & 30

Notice something? He converted 3 daddy hundreds, and then followed it up with 3 middling Test matches (mainly due to the intelligent bowling of Axar and Siraj). Now, we should not be too harsh on Root. The law of averages surely catches up, he had additional stress of captaincy, and he even bowled his heart out including a 5/8.

Still, the Joe Root who scored consistent 60s & 70s might have been more than handy on this low scoring tour. The 50th 50 would be cherry on top of his personally successful season.

2. Batting Wins Matches

Catches win matches? Sure. Need to take 20 wickets to secure a Test victory? Maybe.

How about batting with scores of 178, 134 & 164, 112 & 81, and 205 & 135? Definitely Not. This is called batting yourself out of a Test series. Let us dig a bit deeper:

  • Pope 153 runs at 19.12 (best of 34), Sibley 134 at 16.75 (best of 87) – 4 Tests each
  • Burns 58 runs at 14.50 (best of 33), Bairstow 28 at 7.00 (best of 7, 3 ducks), Crawley 67 at 16.75 (best of 53) – 2 Tests each

For international level cricket, if your Top 5 comprises of these players, barely-in-form Root-Stokes, and Buttler/Foakes, then this is just not going to cut it.

Maybe a certain Joe Denly might have been able to weather the storm better. If not the centuries, at least the Denturies would have come.

3. Anderson, Foakes & Lawrence The Bright Stars

Let us take out the stats for the moment, and look at the bright side.

Winning a Test match is not easy. Winning away even harder. Hence, the 227 run victory in Chennai should be regarded as a huge accomplishment, regardless of the 3-1 margin. (The issue was not the score line. Rather, it was the way they lost the final 3 Test matches).

Jimmy Anderson’s 6/40 in Galle & 3/17 in Chennai should rest the ‘Clouderson’ and ‘poor away record’ claims. That 3/17 included one of the best overs of reverse swing you will ever see. A well set Shubman Gill was bowled through the gate, Rahane survived an umpires call appeal, and then carbon copy bowled. Does not get any better than that.

On the turning pitches, Ben Foakes’ keeping was absolutely magnificent. His split-second stumping of Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant in the 2nd innings of the 2nd Test were quite something. (His batting showed signs of defiance, but could not reach his heights of his debut). Finally with 73 on debut and 46 & 50 in the final Test, Dan Lawrence showed some signs of steel.

Finally Channel 4 coverage was a win-win situation for the fans.


1. Axar Patel Invokes His Inner Embuldeniya, R Ashwin – The Man of the Hour

Just like Embuldeniya troubled England prior to this tour, Axar was the concern this time around. Straighter one, bounce, turn, guile, he had it all.

The best part is that Axar was not even supposed to play this series if not for Jadeja’s injury. 27 wickets at 10.59 with 4 5-wicket hauls & 1-10 wicket haul (best inning – 6/38, best match 11/70). Even got the opportunity to take a five-wicket haul at his home with some crowd. Stuff of dreams.

R Ashwin has got to be the most intelligent player in international cricket. He has a YouTube channel, reads books in his free time, is an engineer, can mess with the batsmen due to the Mankad-threat, talks to the media about a ‘bad pitch’, walks the talk with a 106 on the Chennai turner, and bamboozles the batsmen with skillful bowling.

The dismissals of Ollie Pope (carrom ball, beats the bat, bowled) in the final Test have to be my moments of this series.

2. The Sharmas Come To The Party

Wonderful achievement by Ishant Sharma for his 100th Test & 300 wickets. Just rewards for a brilliant journey over the last decade. Although this series was spin-dominated, Ishant Sharma 4.0 still has several years to offer to Indian cricket.

Rohit Sharma went very much under the radar this time, but India’s series victory was in jeopardy without his contributions. 161 on a tricky pitch was the turning moment of the series, and he followed it up with patient 26, 66 & 25*, and 49. In these low scoring matches, runs on the board provided the cushion for the spinners to dominate.

3. India’s Big 3 Just Not Good Enough, Depth Covers the Spots

Just like many other well-wishers, I had predicted Virat Kohli to come back in this series with a tough 50 at the start and a a double century by the end. The tough 72 in the 2nd innings at Chennai definitely came, but nowhere near the elusive 71st international century. Here are the stats:

  • Virat Kohli: 172 runs at 28.66 (best of 72, 2-50s, 2 ducks)
  • Ajinkya Rahane: 112 runs at 18.66 (best of 67, 1-50, 1 duck)
  • Cheteshwar Pujara: 133 runs at 22.16 (best of 73, 1-50, 1 duck)

I do not remember so many ducks by these 3. Nor do I remember a series where none fired.

Apart from Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Washington Sundar, & R Ashwin all outscored the middle order stalwarts. Since India emerged victorious, the cracks are temporarily filled, but questions should be asked.

After that Melbourne innings, Rahane has not done enough. Pujara is doing fine and crucial to India’s line up, but is not converting to daddy hundreds at the moment.

Given India’s depth, is it time to breed in the next generation? Is it time to rotate home/away batsmen as India rotates fast bowlers/ spinners?

Also Read:



The umpiring decisions in the 2nd & 3rd Tests caught the attention of the public. It was not necessarily the decisions made, but the manner in which they were decided (Ben Stokes’ catch – on field out, but turned over quickly). A standard procedure & muting the umpires’ conversation may be the way to go forward here.


By the end of the series, it was easily recognized that England’s lack of batting application led to their downfall, not the state of the pitches. However, 2-day & 3-day matches do not anybody a favor, either. The pink ball Test is supposed to get more public to watch the game, but most of these matches are ending in 3 or 4 days, which is counterintuitive. The first Test may have been the most balanced pitch, even though it was slow & attritional for the first day and a half.

Rotation Policy

Finally, the rotation policy. England’s rotation policy has possibly extended the careers of Broad & Anderson, given a chance to youngsters fighting for a national spot, and is important in the coronavirus era due to mental health. Rotation is not necessarily a bad thing, but how it was implemented in this series was dodgy.

Archer, Burns, & Stokes were rested for the series in Sri Lanka, while the rest of the squad stayed. However, Buttler left after one Test, Moeen Ali finally playing a Test only to go back home (due to miscommunication), Bairstow played the last two, Woakes left without playing, so on and so forth.

I cannot imagine how much the constant traveling & jet lag, inconsistency in selection & unsettled line-ups, and not having enough practice games might have impacted their minds. I can understand rotation between series, but during a series is a bit much.

And if this rotation was for the preparation for upcoming T20 World Cup & IPL, losing out to the WTC Final spot at home should seriously be questioned.


We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:

India made Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel (greatest understudy of all time), and Washington Sundar into world class all-rounders. England took a world class all-rounder in Moeen Ali and practically destroyed a budding career.

Emerging PlayerAxar Patel Dan Lawrence, Rotation Policy
Surprise PackageLower Middle OrderDom Bess’s Full Tosses; Joe Root’s 5-fer
Broken Cricket DreamShardul Thakur – Did not get a game after a 92 & 4-fer at Gabba
Dreams Broken For Fans Wanting Ashwin to become the 4th player to do the double of 100 + 10-fer
Stuart Broad’s Asian Dream, Jonny Bairstow’s Test Career, Moeen Ali
India Vs England 2021 Test Series Awards

Where Do They Go From Here?

A 5 match T20I series & 3-match ODI series to follow, preparing for the upcoming T20I World Cup in India. Then, we will have the IPL, England will play a couple of test matches against the New Zealand at home, and finally India Vs New Zealand for the WTC final.

After England’s victory at Chennai, I declared that this English team could rival the 2010-2012 team due to the good mix of youth, experience, & abroad victories. I guess that was a bit premature.

Was this India Vs England 2021 Test series the ‘greatest story of all time’ like the India Vs Australia? Nope.

Was it as controversial as the South Africa Vs Australia scandalous ball tampering series? Not really.

At best, this was just a Meh kind of series. Had its moments, but did not capture the imagination of the next generation. Sums it up for the World Test Championship.

What did you think of the India Vs England 2021 Test Series? Let us know!

Subscribe for more below! Share with your friends as well! Here is our Facebook Twitter pages.

Copyright (2021: 3/11/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X –

Image Courtesy: Axar Patel – Anand Anil, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Joe Root Vs Lasith Embuldeniya 2020 Series Review: Oops, I Meant England Vs Sri Lanka

Joe Root Vs Lasith Embuldeniya. That’s it, that’s the end of the series review….

Just Kidding, but boy it felt like Root vs Embuldeniya, didn’t it? At one point in the 2nd Test, Embuldeniya was hitting sixes and the golden arm of Joe Root was called upon to take his wicket and clean up the tail.

Yet, this short two-Test series had several other actors and memorable moments. The 2-0 score line may not have been close, but the contest was enthralling, nevertheless.

Broad’s initial burst, Bess’s uncanny wicket taking ability, Dan Lawrence’s dazzling debut, Niroshan Dickwella’s high-five face slap, Leach and Embuldeniya’s brilliance, Sibley and Thirimanne’s revival, Dickwella’s sledging, Bairstow and Buttler’s solidity, Mathews and Root’s centuries, Dickwella’s 92, and of course, Jimmy Anderson being well…Jimmy Anderson (in Asia).

Read till the end for my picks for the best moments, emerging players, lookout for the India Vs England series, and much more! COMMENT BELOW ON YOUR FAVORITE MOMENTS.

*Note: Underlined & Bolded links are videos. Underlined without bold are links to other articles.

Also Read: England Vs Sri Lanka Preview, SA Vs SL Review, South Africans Who Played For Other Countries

Results – England Vs Sri Lanka

Test Series: England Win 2 – 0

* Player of Match

  1. England won by 7 wickets *Joe Root
  2. England won by 6 wickets *Joe Root
Player of SeriesEngland
Joe Root
2-100s, best of 228
Sri Lanka
Most RunsJoe Root – 426 runs (4 innings)Angelo Mathews – 213 runs (4 innings)
Most WicketsDom Bess – 12 wickets (4 innings)Lasith Embuldeniya – 15 wickets (4 innings)
Test Series Stats

The Highlights


1. Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler: Critics Go Out The Window

Joe Root just does not like scoring 100s. Either 50s or daddy hundreds.

Do you all remember a few weeks ago in the India Vs Australia series, the commentators were discussing about the Big 3? That seems ages ago. In the preview article, I argued that

“Root is still a stellar player with an amazing record. The fact that England do not seem to need him as much as the other countries is a reflection of the strength of this English team, not the fall of a rising career. I hope he answers his critics with the bat.

186, 228, 2/0, and 7 catches later, Joe Root has answered his critics in some style. He has gone from being criticized for his poor conversion-rate to becoming England’s #4 all time tally, surpassing Boycott, Pietersen, and Gower on the way (Suddenly, predictions of catching Tendulkar’s Test runs have opened since he is only 30).

2. The Rest of the Batting

  • Crawley had a horrid tour with the bat (4 innings, 35 runs at 8.75), Sibley with 62 runs in his 4 (including a 56* in his last innings), and Sam Curran at 7 a spot too high (2 innings, 13 runs at 6.5).
  • Bairstow (4 innings, 139 at 46.33) and Buttler (3 innings, 131 at 65.5) fared much better, while Dan Lawrence had little to show after his sparkling 73 on debut.

Bairstow at 3 again? Yes he is a good player of spin, but does he warrant a position in the squad? Several questions were asked pre-series.

With the struggles of Crawley and Sibley, Bairstow did a good repair job with 47 (93), 35* (65), 28 (73), 29 (28). A makeshift English #3 batsmen on foreign soil, successfully denting the new ball without converting it…Where I have I heard this before? Bairstow’s tour was so…Denly-esque.

3. Youth & Senior Pros Combine to Bamboozle Sri Lanka

  • Stuart Broad (3/34 at 11.33) & James Anderson (6/46 at 7.66): No Sign of Aging
  • Dom Bess (12/255 at 21.25) & Jack Leach (10/355 at 35.5): Here To Stay?

Stuart Broad’s resurgence in the past year or so has been heartening, and Anderson’s fitness just becomes better with age. Anderson’s home swing advantage has always clouded his greatness and longevity, but his 6/40 at Galle in the 2nd Test was as good as any.

Dom Bess himself admitted his bowling may not have deserved a 5-fer in the 1st Test. Maybe once or twice, you can call it a fluke but 5/30, 3/100, 4/49 along with a handy 32 with the bat shows he is willing to learn & improve his skills. Jack Leach’s numbers probably do not reflect his 110.5 overs worth of effort, but both of them are here to stay.

It is pretty clear that England are going to rotate Broad/Anderson, pick Mark Wood (tad unlucky this time around) for pace, and play both spinners for the upcoming India series (given Moeen Ali does not come back for Sam Curran).

Sri Lanka

1. Thirimanne & Angelo Matthews

Lahiru Thirimanne was our contender for the Broken Dream in our preview. Just look at his stats:

  • Average of 22.68 after 36 Tests, 1 century after a decade on the international scene

He came back with a solid 111 and 43 in this series, and has ‘extended’ his place in the side. Will take a few more consistent performances to cement his place. I was also looking forward to a Chandimal-Thirimanne-Mathews solid middle order foundation. Chandimal had a Bairstow-like with a 52 and a couple of 20s, while Mathews was Sri Lanka’s most run-getter including a hard-fought 71 and 110.

  • 88 Tests, 6194 runs at 45.54, with 11 100s, best of 200* Mathews is slowly approaching Sri Lanka’s Legend Status.

2. Inconsistency Kills The Cat

  • Mathews – 213, Thirimanne 171, Dickwella 140, Chandimal 109, Kusal Perera 102
  • (SL Vs SA): 396 & 180, 157 & 211, (SL vs Eng): 381 & 126, 135 & 359

Notice a pattern yet? For England, Root scored a mammoth 426 with Bairstow-Buttler scoring 139 & 131 runs respectively. Sri Lanka had 5 scorers over 100 & Mathews/Thirimanne did convert, but there were just not enough match winning partnerships. Partnerships are the key to success. As we can see from the beginning of the South Africa tour, Sri Lanka have scored 350+ 3/8 times, but they have also collapsed 4/8 times.

Sri Lanka were not bad, but inconsistency in the other innings killed any chance they had.

Here is Kumar Sangakkara’s reflection of Sri Lanka’s batting meltdowns.

3. Embuldeniya

  • 4 innings, 119 overs, 15/415 at 27.66, best of 7/37, 1 5-fer, 1 10-fer

The reason why batting inconsistency hurt more this time around is because with Lasith Embuldeniya, Sri Lanka actually believed they could win.

In the first match, chasing a mere 74, England were down 14/3. Embuldeniya made it look like a landmine, but just there were just not enough runs on the board. He bowled tireless spells, opened the bowling, and even hit an aggressive 40 (37) in the 2nd Test to take the score from 78-8 to 126.

The name, the action, the wicket taking ability – have Sri Lanka finally found someone to carry the legacy of Muralitharan and Rangana Herath? Only time will tell.

Also Read: Charisma of Sam Curran, Lasith Malinga: The Slinga, Slayer, & Superstar

Marks Out of 10: The Mendis Factor

(Not really. Let’s have some fun!)

  • 4 – Ducks in a Row for Kusal Mendis (including SA series). His replacement, Ramesh Mendis, carried on the tradition and opened his account with a duck as well.
  • 6 – Wins In a row for England in Sri Lanka. Huge accomplishment – Kudos! It is never easy to tour Sri Lanka at home and consistent results bode well. Oh yes. And England won without the likes of Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, and opener Rory Burns.
  • 8 – Short of a maiden hundred for Niroshan Dickwella. So close, yet so far.
  • 13 – Wickets Away from Anil Kumble’s 619 for the 3rd highest wicket-taker EVER for Jimmy Anderson. GOAT.

We like to spice things up with our own awards for the series. Here they are:

Sri LankaEngland
Emerging PlayerLasith EmbuldeniyaJoe Root’s Super Conversion Rate & Dan Lawrence
Surprise PackageEmbuldeniya (Batting/Bowling/Everything) & Dickwella’s sledgingDom Bess’s 5-for & wicket-taking ability
Broken Cricket DreamKusal Mendis Zak Crawley

Who would have been your Emerging Player? Surprise Player? Broken Cricket Dream? Let us know below WITH COMMENTS! Also please share and subscribe below!

Where Do They Go From Here?

Sri Lanka’s 2021 outlook looks filled. They will complete some of the WTC matches that were cancelled in 2020. They will host/tour Bangladesh, go to West Indies, & host Ireland for a Test match as well. Second part of the year will be focused on the T20I World Cup.

Busy Year for England this. 17 Test Matches on the cards (Maybe more if they qualify for World Test Championship Final). Next Up – India. 4 Tests, 5 ODIs, 3 T20Is from February 4th to March 27th (Add IPL, the Hundred, & World T20 World Cup in the mix as well). The series is key to the WTC finals. England currently at 4th but slowly inching up (Just 3% separates #4 England from #1 India).

Several questions on England vs India TV rights and squad selections as well. Bairstow, Curran, Wood rested for the first couple of Test matches, while Buttler flies home after the 1st one.

With India surprising expectations in Australia, will we see a similar triumph for England against favorites India?

Where do Sri Lankan cricket go from here? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!

Subscribe for more below! Share with your friends as well! Here is our Facebook Twitter pages.

Copyright (2021: 1/13/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X –

Image Courtesy: Jimmy AndersonNAPARAZZI, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons