The current approach of team India towards the visitor Sri Lanka seems a beat out-of-order. The first Test starting properly after only the second day, could not have had a better result than a draw after the intensity of tussles in both the teams. However, there could have another result as well, a result favoring India. The home team winning the Test would not have been a surprise at all. What went wrong? Was it Sri Lanka trying to slow the match by the end of the fifth day? Or was it India’s failed batting line-up?
While, the rain-soaked Eden pitch was held responsible for the first inning woes of team India, its batting line-up also failed in the next inning. It was only Virat Kohli that maintained a decency in his play. Sri Lanka bowlers were tough, particularly in economy, and the wicket taking capabilities of attackers like Sauranga Lakmal. Sri Lanka’s success to slog India’s batting line up at Kolkata deserve a bit of applause. Especially after India thumped a humiliating defeat in their home, just a couple of months back. India could have lost the match if Virat Kohli had not beaten his century.
Team India should have better bets to tackle the likes of Sauranga Lakmal and Rangana Herath.
Apart from bowling blitz, Sri Lanka also outpaced India in terms of batting. The first inning score of Sri Lanka was impressive. India bowlers could not restrict the play and the visitors went on hammering more a single half century in the inning. Therefore, what went wrong with India? The match at Eden Garden was almost a U-turn in India’s form against the same team at Colombo or Galle, if not completely.
The glitch here seems in the selection strategy. India could have utilized its top attackers like Ravindra Jadeja or Ravichandran Ashwin in a better way. Instead of betting them, the bowlers were kept ‘reserved’ for a future tournament. India selectors eyed the upcoming South Africa tour after the home tournament. The best in the team were not against Sri Lanka what-so-ever. Mohammed Shami, the fastest in India now, cannot be judged. His play was unquestionable, but the rest of the blowing ensemble are questionable. It could have been better. Further, apart from seamers and spin options India need a pace option to back up Bhuvneshwar Kumar. This made Shami’s inclusion justifiable.
South Africa tour is important, but giving Sri Lanka the opportunities to break records in India would be too empathetic to consider. Also, Sri Lanka is the team that won a Test series against Pakistan in just its previous tournament. There is no reason to consider and compare the current squad to the squad that lost itself to India on its tour to Sri Lanka. The mismatch in India’s batting line-up was also apparent. Trying out untested combination the first match of a tournament might come up as a heavy mistake by the last match.
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