India winning the Test against Sri Lanka had no big reason to celebrate as it the team that faced a whitewash just a couple of months before. Sri Lanka stance in India was still better than that in their home in the previous face-off. With such fixtures and schedules, the board of the two countries are also to be pointed. Was there really a need of another visit from Sri Lanka to India for a full series tour after just months. It is almost a repetition of the tournament. The bigger advantage was reaped by India players finishing with another coat of records. India skipper Virat Kohli knocked two double centuries in a single match, reaching several milestones at one go.
The Sri Lanka series for India considered as a ‘practice’ by the home team with an eye to the upcoming South Africa tour. There were several special provisions in the matches such as extra grass coverings, creating a tract conducive for pacers and so on. It was as if team India wanted to simulate the conditions they would face in South Africa, while playing against Sri Lanka. The choice of players was also in tandem with this strategy. The expected squad for South Africa tour would be with the same players in the current team.
The idea was great, and it might have provided team India some results, but how much? India tried out several players in rotation in both batting and bowling line-up, without a proper perspective of the team to South Africa. Additionally, Sri Lanka did come as a challenge only for sessions in the tournament. The bowlers were intimidating to some extent, while the batsmen made India’s attack learn some. India’s approach in the series did work on the bowling side. Still it is questionable if bowlers had those lessons properly.
In batting side, the team found out the lacuna of not having enough backups. When Sri Lanka’s bowling attack was at its peak, India’s line up exhausted. It was only Rohit Sharma’s half-centuries that salvaged the team. The side might boost up its batting line with more players trimming a part of bowling setup. Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin’s transformation as all-rounder is a big relief in this direction. Only if the players ensure their forms as allrounders in SA, they can bring up a better prospective for the team.
The results of simulating the condition to face off South Africa in the tournament with Sri Lanka was apparent to some extent. Now, only the squad to the nation and its game will determine its actual impact.
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