India in Sri Lanka 2010 August 8, 2010

Close series between rivals with bare cupboards

It is a credit to both teams that despite the overkill of cricket between the two nations, despite the dead pitch at the SSC, despite the lack of bowling resources, they played out two tense Test matches
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This Indian team is pretty adept at digging a hole for itself. It is equally adept and finding a way out of it too. That's why writing this side off is hazardous. Here we are talking about the Test side, not other disciplines. It was an incredible show of character that with their most inexperienced attack since 2000-01, on a ground where Sri Lanka have not lost since 1994, with three first-choice and one second-choice player out, India came back to square this series. India, after losing all the tosses, also ended Sri Lanka's nine-year run of not losing a home Test after winning the toss.

When asked if this was the most special win of his captaincy career, considering the huge effort required, considering that for the first 11 days of the series a Test win looked completely out of reach, MS Dhoni sounded blasé. He had reason to feel so. "It's not the first time I'm the captain and we're one-down and we have to win to level the series," he said. "To pick one of the Test matches among the few I've played or captained is difficult. Every win is special, like the South Africa Test we played in Kolkata or any other."

There is some truth to that. This team has developed a habit of bouncing back immediately after a devastating loss. In 2007-08 South Africa absolutely demolished India in Ahmedabad, only to see them come back in Kanpur. Later that year India bounced back in Galle after a demoralising loss at the SSC. After the infamous SCG defeat, they stunned Australia at the WACA. Earlier this year, they staged a comeback in the Test Dhoni talked about, immediately after Dale Steyn's destruction in Nagpur.

"It shows what this team is all about and what we can do in pressure situations," Gary Kirsten, a man known for doggedness himself, said of the P Sara win. That they keep putting themselves in pressure situations is something India need to address.

For starters, they haven't played a single international game - across formats - with their first-choice XI since Sri Lanka's last tour of India, last November. When they were fighting to justify their No. 1 status, they should ideally have been nursing their niggles, getting ready for a season that will culminate in the World Cup at home. They made a slow start obviously - it took the rookie bowlers three Tests and a helpful pitch to make an impact.

The batsmen failed in Galle, for which they had only one excuse, that of Lasith Malinga's magic, and since then India were fighting a near-impossible fight. Good fortune arrived when Sachin Tendulkar was dropped with India fighting to avoid the follow-on at the SSC, and since then the batting line-up ceased being just Virender Sehwag. Tendulkar, Suresh Raina and VVS Laxman joined in, playing big knocks at crucial times.

That to the Indians this drawn series seemed as good as a win is a tribute to how good Sri Lanka are at home. They know their conditions perfectly, they know exactly how to play in those conditions, and they rarely fail to execute those plans. For the first 11 days, it went almost perfectly according to the script, except for Tendulkar's dropped catch.

Kumar Sangakkara batted beautifully for his century, double-century and fifty in the three Tests, Tharanga Paranavitana promised to solve their opening problem, Mahela Jayawardene contributed even though he didn't look at his flowing best. Thilan Samaraweera wasn't exactly needed in the first two Tests, but when his team needed him in the third Test, he was there.

Malinga and Muttiah Muralitharan made for a heady first Test, a perfect farewell to Murali. The need to preserve Malinga hurt Sri Lanka in the second Test, and even in the third, Sangakkara got him to bowl just six overs on the final day. It would be premature to call it bad captaincy, because perhaps Malinga's body was at the brink again.

It is easy to forget that Sri Lanka were themselves low on resources after Murali's retirement, a fact underlined by the need to risk Malinga's body. Suraj Randiv was a good addition, as he showed with that valiant spell over the last two days at the P Sara Oval, but the bowling cupboard looks slightly bare.

The first Test wasn't gripping throughout, but once India started crumbling, it was always going to be an exciting finish. P Sara Oval was perhaps the perfect Test, except for some tired captaincy at times from both leaders. It is a credit to both teams that despite the overkill of cricket between the two nations, despite the dead pitch at the SSC, despite the lack of bowling resources, they played out two tense Test matches. Now for some break in India-Sri Lanka ties…

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • shri619 on August 11, 2010, 7:12 GMT

    hey who is saying ind can't face the english bowling in england. then iam saying england cant face our spin attack in india .whole world knows the aussies and englisman can't play spin.you preparing fast tracks we preparing spinng tracks. cricket is played at diffrent countris diffrent venues. the condiitions are diffrnt. as ind make spining tracks our batsman plays better to spin as compaired to pace attack in auu and england they make fast wickets they can play better to pace as compaired to spin. every one has strong points and weak points no one is complete. and no one can say we are no.1. any team with their better game can beat any side. as bangladesh beat india and australia, england.

  • shri619 on August 11, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    hey don't call murli chuker.he is the gr8 bowler. becoz he has taken 800 wickets. this people are saying thing about murli and tendulkar they both have record holder.diffrent countries people says anything about them bcoz their cricketer have not reach that landmark and then they start comparing. do not compair anybody crickters plas to win matches for their contry. no budy plays for record. wining the mathes are important for them. thats why after 21 years achive so many things in the game tendulkar is playing for only one ultimate goal win the wc2011 for india.

  • aztecs on August 10, 2010, 18:03 GMT

    Boring Boring Boring......India dont deserve the number 1 spot. How on earth they manage to win games without any world class bowlers amazes me. Bhajji is not world class, sreesnath was exciting to watch insofar as who would slap him first but an Indian beat the rest of the world to it, Khan needs to retire as he is far to old, Anil Kumble and Kapil Dev are the only two world class bowlers the Indians have ever produced in their 60 year cricketing history, but will be forgotten as the rest of the world produces far better bowlers. So no wonder Sanga questions the ICC rankings. In all honesty India will really suffer when the likes of Tendi, Dravid and Laxman retire. I hope they dont but in reality it will happen and in less than a year from today. Please remember this post when they do....

  • sachin_vvsfan on August 10, 2010, 11:47 GMT

    @ Paddy Mohan why india cannot be compared to srilanka in odis? Actually isn't it the other way round?just check the stats for ODIS against india at your home series im sure india has better win ratio for the past 5 years. 1996 and 2003? you meant 2007? then remeber 1999 and 2003 world cups?if you talk about sharjah then i can give many examples where india thrashed srilanka 4-1 or 5-1. Calm down mate. Your comments do indicate that srilanaka has also got fanatic fans :)

  • anoopshameed on August 10, 2010, 6:46 GMT

    It's all in perspective! Had the then rank 5 team Sri Lanka held the rank 1 team India to a one all draw it would have been advatange Sri Lanka (The rank system is definitey Maths as shown by the fact that a 1-1 home series still gained Sri Lanka 4 points and lost India 3). But the moment Sangakkara and Jayawardane opened their mouths and quetioned India's Test rank and said Sri Lanka were better, the whole perspective changed. Now self claimed 'better side' Sri Lanka has failed to win a home series: advantage India. It is the same thing that happened to India when they toured Bangladesh early this year. Everyone expected India to win 2-0. But with Sehwag's comments the whole perspective changed. People expected India to trash Bangladesh like anything: even the initially expected 2-0 win was not saisfactory. Another example is the dropped catch statements made by 'not so logical' Sangakkara. Now people are runnng around to find instances where their players dropped the opposition:Funny

  • vibs_iima on August 10, 2010, 5:06 GMT

    The last test was definitely one of the best tests I have seen in recent past with equations changng in every session. Such matches will defintely increase the popularity of test cricket. No doubt SL has lost edge in it's bowling after Murali's retirement.Mendis is no longer feared by Indian Batsmen. Randiv has gained respect by his performance but still the bowling attack looked pretty ordinary with only Malinga giving threat to Indian batsmen. Indian batting, although quiet strong right now should conctrate in building bench strength as the big three will retire in next 2-3 years. Raina has made a brilliant start to his career but we still need to give more chance to players like rohit sharma and even Viraat kohli. Bowling is one department where a lot is need to be done.No permanent faces in Indian bowling except Bhajji and zaheer. Serious hunt is required for good quality bowlers in test cricket as you need to take 20 wickets to win a test and you cannot depend on pitch always.

  • redneck on August 10, 2010, 4:59 GMT

    @zxaar ponting avg over 100 at headingly before that test innings of 88. batsmen dont alway make their avg score mate! and headingly is a far cry from those colombo test grounds. i think the best series shaping up is at the years end, the best batting line up vs the best bowling line up going around currently and that too in a country that doesnt make feather beds and call them pitches! no not the ashes (i wish aus still had the best of both!) south africa v india from a neutral supporters view is going to make for some good cricket!

  • Itchy on August 10, 2010, 1:49 GMT

    @inswing: Aus have been playing without half of their regular side for over 12 months with players like Lee, Haddin, Hauritz, Hilfenhaus, Harris, S Clark out for extended periods. During this period Australia has maintained a reasonable level of performance without being exceptional - ODI series win IN India, home Test series wins against Pakistan and WI, Test series win in NZ. Barring India, I realise that the other nations are not near the top of the tree but you can only play who you are up against and with the players at your disposal.

    India are the no. 1 side at the moment based on rankings but will only remain so until another team rises (SA, I suspect). With some veteran batsmen in the Indian side only having a couple of more years left, it may be up to the selectors to give some of the fringe players more experience in test matches.

  • Munkeymomo on August 9, 2010, 22:47 GMT

    @catalyst213 the aussies were bowled out for 88 by Pakistan. We (Eng) haven't played the Aussies in a test in a while (wish we had bowled em out for 88 though!).

  • zxaar on August 9, 2010, 22:44 GMT

    @priyantha123 "I totally disagree with the comments of Koushik_Biswas. Due to illogical arithmetic of the ICC, India had become the no. 01 test team. Can the current Indian team face the pace attack of England in England and score more than 88 which Pakistan did? I doubt." -------------------- do you better arithmetics than what ICC has. Is your arithmetics some how superior??? India is no. 1 because they have won matches is time span decided by ICC. Noone cares if you have problems with it. Other than that about your comment indians not scoring 88 in England. Tendulkar averages 62 there. So guess rest of them can add another 27 runs. :-D

  • shri619 on August 11, 2010, 7:12 GMT

    hey who is saying ind can't face the english bowling in england. then iam saying england cant face our spin attack in india .whole world knows the aussies and englisman can't play spin.you preparing fast tracks we preparing spinng tracks. cricket is played at diffrent countris diffrent venues. the condiitions are diffrnt. as ind make spining tracks our batsman plays better to spin as compaired to pace attack in auu and england they make fast wickets they can play better to pace as compaired to spin. every one has strong points and weak points no one is complete. and no one can say we are no.1. any team with their better game can beat any side. as bangladesh beat india and australia, england.

  • shri619 on August 11, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    hey don't call murli chuker.he is the gr8 bowler. becoz he has taken 800 wickets. this people are saying thing about murli and tendulkar they both have record holder.diffrent countries people says anything about them bcoz their cricketer have not reach that landmark and then they start comparing. do not compair anybody crickters plas to win matches for their contry. no budy plays for record. wining the mathes are important for them. thats why after 21 years achive so many things in the game tendulkar is playing for only one ultimate goal win the wc2011 for india.

  • aztecs on August 10, 2010, 18:03 GMT

    Boring Boring Boring......India dont deserve the number 1 spot. How on earth they manage to win games without any world class bowlers amazes me. Bhajji is not world class, sreesnath was exciting to watch insofar as who would slap him first but an Indian beat the rest of the world to it, Khan needs to retire as he is far to old, Anil Kumble and Kapil Dev are the only two world class bowlers the Indians have ever produced in their 60 year cricketing history, but will be forgotten as the rest of the world produces far better bowlers. So no wonder Sanga questions the ICC rankings. In all honesty India will really suffer when the likes of Tendi, Dravid and Laxman retire. I hope they dont but in reality it will happen and in less than a year from today. Please remember this post when they do....

  • sachin_vvsfan on August 10, 2010, 11:47 GMT

    @ Paddy Mohan why india cannot be compared to srilanka in odis? Actually isn't it the other way round?just check the stats for ODIS against india at your home series im sure india has better win ratio for the past 5 years. 1996 and 2003? you meant 2007? then remeber 1999 and 2003 world cups?if you talk about sharjah then i can give many examples where india thrashed srilanka 4-1 or 5-1. Calm down mate. Your comments do indicate that srilanaka has also got fanatic fans :)

  • anoopshameed on August 10, 2010, 6:46 GMT

    It's all in perspective! Had the then rank 5 team Sri Lanka held the rank 1 team India to a one all draw it would have been advatange Sri Lanka (The rank system is definitey Maths as shown by the fact that a 1-1 home series still gained Sri Lanka 4 points and lost India 3). But the moment Sangakkara and Jayawardane opened their mouths and quetioned India's Test rank and said Sri Lanka were better, the whole perspective changed. Now self claimed 'better side' Sri Lanka has failed to win a home series: advantage India. It is the same thing that happened to India when they toured Bangladesh early this year. Everyone expected India to win 2-0. But with Sehwag's comments the whole perspective changed. People expected India to trash Bangladesh like anything: even the initially expected 2-0 win was not saisfactory. Another example is the dropped catch statements made by 'not so logical' Sangakkara. Now people are runnng around to find instances where their players dropped the opposition:Funny

  • vibs_iima on August 10, 2010, 5:06 GMT

    The last test was definitely one of the best tests I have seen in recent past with equations changng in every session. Such matches will defintely increase the popularity of test cricket. No doubt SL has lost edge in it's bowling after Murali's retirement.Mendis is no longer feared by Indian Batsmen. Randiv has gained respect by his performance but still the bowling attack looked pretty ordinary with only Malinga giving threat to Indian batsmen. Indian batting, although quiet strong right now should conctrate in building bench strength as the big three will retire in next 2-3 years. Raina has made a brilliant start to his career but we still need to give more chance to players like rohit sharma and even Viraat kohli. Bowling is one department where a lot is need to be done.No permanent faces in Indian bowling except Bhajji and zaheer. Serious hunt is required for good quality bowlers in test cricket as you need to take 20 wickets to win a test and you cannot depend on pitch always.

  • redneck on August 10, 2010, 4:59 GMT

    @zxaar ponting avg over 100 at headingly before that test innings of 88. batsmen dont alway make their avg score mate! and headingly is a far cry from those colombo test grounds. i think the best series shaping up is at the years end, the best batting line up vs the best bowling line up going around currently and that too in a country that doesnt make feather beds and call them pitches! no not the ashes (i wish aus still had the best of both!) south africa v india from a neutral supporters view is going to make for some good cricket!

  • Itchy on August 10, 2010, 1:49 GMT

    @inswing: Aus have been playing without half of their regular side for over 12 months with players like Lee, Haddin, Hauritz, Hilfenhaus, Harris, S Clark out for extended periods. During this period Australia has maintained a reasonable level of performance without being exceptional - ODI series win IN India, home Test series wins against Pakistan and WI, Test series win in NZ. Barring India, I realise that the other nations are not near the top of the tree but you can only play who you are up against and with the players at your disposal.

    India are the no. 1 side at the moment based on rankings but will only remain so until another team rises (SA, I suspect). With some veteran batsmen in the Indian side only having a couple of more years left, it may be up to the selectors to give some of the fringe players more experience in test matches.

  • Munkeymomo on August 9, 2010, 22:47 GMT

    @catalyst213 the aussies were bowled out for 88 by Pakistan. We (Eng) haven't played the Aussies in a test in a while (wish we had bowled em out for 88 though!).

  • zxaar on August 9, 2010, 22:44 GMT

    @priyantha123 "I totally disagree with the comments of Koushik_Biswas. Due to illogical arithmetic of the ICC, India had become the no. 01 test team. Can the current Indian team face the pace attack of England in England and score more than 88 which Pakistan did? I doubt." -------------------- do you better arithmetics than what ICC has. Is your arithmetics some how superior??? India is no. 1 because they have won matches is time span decided by ICC. Noone cares if you have problems with it. Other than that about your comment indians not scoring 88 in England. Tendulkar averages 62 there. So guess rest of them can add another 27 runs. :-D

  • on August 9, 2010, 22:40 GMT

    Please... you must be kidding ! India is nowhere near compared to SL. In tests Ind can be compared, but in ODIs and T20s there is no comparison, SL is light years ahead, especially in bowling and fielding. Indians are fat and lack fitness, cant sprint 100 metres in field, but SL are thin and fit and run faster. SL does well in pressure situations and has knocked out Ind from tournaments...remeber '96 and 2003 World Cup, that Sharjah final where Ind got thrashed by more than 200 runs and were all out for 50+; even recently in World T20...remember that Kapugedera did a Javed Miandad style last ball 6... and you are comparing an average side with SL, the best in Asia and 2nd best in the world.

  • zxaar on August 9, 2010, 22:37 GMT

    "All this talk about india being a far superior team than SL is rubbish.Looking forward to see how indian middle order will play after their senior citizens retire in a few years." -------------------- talk is about current team and not team of few years future. currently india is much better team.

  • BillyCC on August 9, 2010, 21:14 GMT

    Sri Lanka may have just been the better team throughout the series but India are the superior side in recent times. They haven't lost a Test series for more than three years now and when they have looked liked losing, someone in the team has been able to come to the rescue. Both teams need more bowling penetration with Sri Lanka needing a strike bowler to replace Murali and India needing more depth to replace all their current injuries.

  • cric-procrastinator on August 9, 2010, 20:45 GMT

    Lets get the facts straight, the sri lankans had all the advantages 1. Sri Lanka were playing at home, advantage number 1 2. Sri Lanka won the toss for all three test and choose to bat first because batting on a crumbling pitch last is very difficult 3. India was missing three first choice playes and 1 second choice player

    Inspite of all the above advantages sri lanka still could not beat India and win the series. But it is a just cricket match but what bothered me was the attitude of Sangakkara, mahela Jayawardena and some sri lankan supportes who claim they are a better team.

    Examples, Sangakkara gives excuses like, if tendulkar's catch was not dropped things would have been different but he conveniently ignores the fact that he himself benefitted from a dropped catch, mahela claims India were not aggressive but it was sri lanka who was playing negative cricket with an ultra defensive field placing on the final day of the 3rd test match, it was India who played positiv

  • Balumekka on August 9, 2010, 20:05 GMT

    India has been playing test cricket for 78 years now and Sri Lanka only has a brief history of 28 years. Indian cricket team is selected from a population, hundred times larger than the Sri Lankan population. The amount of money put into Indian cricket is incomparable with the little money in Sri Lankan cricket. Sri Lankan team is still developing. Remember, before 1996, Sri Lanka team was considered as minnows. But It has been so irritating to Indian fans, that their team has not been up to the expectations always. Why arguing much about which one is the better team? Because Indians also doubt it! Definitely India has the best batting line up in the world. But their bowling has beens the weakest of all test playing nations. Out of a population of billions, Still India cannot produce a fast bowler who could regularly bowl at 140km/h (not a guy bowling 140+ once in 100 balls!!!!), while Sri Lanka has Malinga, Fernando, Prasad, Mirando who ball 140+ and new guy Nuwan who bowls 150+!!!!.

  • on August 9, 2010, 20:01 GMT

    Sri lanka is nowhere near equal to India

  • Vkarthik on August 9, 2010, 19:14 GMT

    Only reason India and SL matches are equal is because too much familiarity. Their strengths and weaknesses are far too familiar for each other. Overall when you consider the performance of India and SL against other teams, you cannot deny India is a better team than SL.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on August 9, 2010, 17:59 GMT

    @chokkashokka. The scary thing is that if the Ind team has this outlook that u have, they may struggle to improve their bowling attack and ovrall team in the future. How can u say this was a seriously depleted Ind team. There 11 in a team. Zaheer Khan and an out of form Harnhajan is missing but yet still u say a "entire bowling unit was from Ind A." Sreesanth will struggle to walk into any international side bar an injury hit W.I., NZ,Bang and he's considered Ind's best option after Zaheer,thats the reality of the bowling attack. Ishant Sharma being persisted with indicates that there aren't too many options and he's certainly better than any1 in IndA. Ghambir was the only missing significant member of the batting line up, the only1! How is the batting seriously depleted? Its time to get real, the Ind line up was never going to get much stronger than the 1 just fielded. I agree they r still better than Sri Lanka,also missing Murali n Herath from 1st test) but not by much. Fairly scary

  • Crikgeek on August 9, 2010, 17:57 GMT

    Highly surprising to see many of you making Sri Lanka as #2 test team of the world. R u guys creating ur own rankings or what? As per the ICC rankings SL is #3 way behind South Africa who has a healthy lead of 4 points. India is a clear #1 with 8 points lead over the #2.

  • lijihas on August 9, 2010, 17:52 GMT

    TO BCCI...... ENOUGH MATCHES BETWEEN IND AND SRILANKA....ATLEAST LEAVE SRILANKA FOR A FEW MONTHS..... PLEASE PUT SOME TOUR TO ENGLISH COUNTRIES AND SHARPEN UR PACE BOWLING STRENGTH WHICH IS WEAKEST AMONG THE ALL CRICKET COUNTREIS........ EVEN BANGALDESH AND ZIMBAWE BOWLING ATTACH IS BETTER THAN INDIANS.....CAN ANYBODY DISAGREE?THINK AND USE UR BRAIN MR.BCCI

  • abhi97 on August 9, 2010, 17:33 GMT

    i hv sachin's 52 test matches for camparing with Don's 52

  • SnowSnake on August 9, 2010, 16:51 GMT

    @Down_Under "Oh by the way, how come no Indian player making superlative comments like Sanga and Mahela?" India was no. 2 when Aus. was No. 1 for a long time. So, India knows that no. 1 position is never a guranteed one and will be lost in time. Being so long at no. 2, India understood how teams that are not no. 1 feel, so they were probably prepared for what SL said. Besides, if South Africa or England challange India now then I will probably listen to them. SL is not that great a team anymore. I think even BCCI would not schedule a test series with SL for a while. SL does not realize it, but if India does not play tests with them then they will have to wait for other teams to show interest in playing test cricket. SL players really blew it this time around.

  • Mutukisna on August 9, 2010, 16:35 GMT

    It is no good talking about dropped catches. It is like spilt milk! What SL lacked was a brains trust. Where were you Bayliss, Law and Sangakkara? Which team had to chase victory to draw the series? Not SL. All SL had to do was to bat as long as possible in the second innings and set India a target where they had to chase against the clock. At worst, it would have been a draw resulting in a series win for SL. SL would probably have won the third test with India chasing a difficult target against the clock. SL drew a series in WI in a similar situation a few years back leadind one nil going into the last test. When will they learn? SL's ability to capture 20 wickets in a test is a worrying feature now that Murali is gone. Finally, the ICC should rule that UDRS should be employed globally or not used at all. If this is not done, all statistics should be separated between UDRS and non-UDRS matches to provide a fair reflection of the games and to make comparisons and averages meaningful.

  • Mannix16 on August 9, 2010, 16:21 GMT

    why does everyone comment about sangakkara challenging the indian's place as no 1. I remember when the Indian player Sehwag commented about how easy it would be to beat Bangladesh in the series last year, where all you commented how "honest" and "straightforward" he was compared to the "quiet" captains nowadays. Is it only ok for Indian teams to talk like that? Honestly anybody who has seen this series knows now that India should not be No 1 and countries like England (who are getting increasingly better at a scary rate) and Australia will probably be the likely contenders. There is no sub par team for India, they just missed out on Zaheer. Harbhajan bowled horribly in the first match (maybe because he wasn't feeling good). When Tendulkar, laxman, and dravid retire a scary reality for India that will be. They will have to bring in youngsters that have no experience and you can never replace these legends...

  • on August 9, 2010, 15:56 GMT

    @Dasith Sean Wijesiriwardena :honsestly when it comes to playing in overseas conditions Indian batters and Lankans batters should not even be compared. Sangakarra is indeed very good but no matter what records he piles up (mostly due to performances in Sri Lanka) would never be placed in same category as Sachin, Lara and Ponting. But let us leave that topic since I consider Sangakara to be genuinely great batsman and they is enough for this topic. Dravid a is proven performer in overseas condtions and Laxman's record in well known in Austalia. He can improve on his scores in England and South Africa. Sehwag may not be the same player overseas as he is in Asia but then none of Lankan openers would come close. Let Dilshan score 150+ scores in Australia and them we can compare. We all know the overseas records of Mahela and Samraweera all too well even though they haven't got enough oppurtunities but even then I believe they wouldn't have been any great shakes.

  • on August 9, 2010, 15:45 GMT

    @Priyantha, stop talking nonsense. if indian batters would be able to score only 88 runs in english conditions then your lankan batsmen won't be able to score 44 ! In T20 World Cup both India and Lanka fell to short pitch bowling of Aussies but India managed to cross 125 whilst your Lankan bats could not even muster 100 and after that eternal bragger Sangakara had a gall to say that Lankans are good players of short bowling.. What a joke. There is a reason why you don't get to play enough matches in Australia and South Africa. Most of your batsmen are normally useless outside Sri Lanka except when playing on featherbeds. I mean atleat win a test match in India and then talk. Winning in Australia and South Africa will remain a pipe dream for you for some years still.

  • Arun14 on August 9, 2010, 14:16 GMT

    I'd agree, conditionally that this was a series of equals. THIS series was played between equals. A below strength India taking on an almost full-strength SL at home was supposed to have been a cakewalk for the home side but the bench strength and the batting might of the Indian team put paid to all the pre-series talk.

    It's no secret that India are the better team. Afterall, they have consistently won test matches and series away from home. They have won series in England, NZ and WI in the past few years and test matches in SL, SA and Aus. SL cannot make similar claims. The SL team is, at best, slightly better than the Indian team of the 90s which won heavily on tailor-made pitches at home and failed to win anything of note abroad. We also saw how badly they lost when they toured India last year. They are no.5 in the world, behind Aus, India, SA and Eng.

  • SUNDOS on August 9, 2010, 10:16 GMT

    Well written,what i liked best is the last line "Now for some break in India-Sri Lanka ties" only cricketing one's i.e,Now is the time for the selectors along with Kirsten and the coaching staff to plan the workloads,Fortunately the mainstays of the batting strength Dravid and Lakshman no longer play the ODI's.Tendulkar has started spacing out his appearances.Now its time to rest Ishant,Harbhajan,and Zaheer.Like resting them for the Tri series. judiciously use Ojha and Mishra.The tests against Australia New Zealand and South Africa shoukld with a bit of pluck should see Inida stretch their lead and confirm the NO 1 Test team status.The world cup at home in conditions that will make even bowlers like Yuvraj,Jadeja ,Raina and Sehwag look dangerous,Indian cricket has never looked this good.

  • catalyst213 on August 9, 2010, 9:47 GMT

    @ Down_Under, you my friend should worry more abt the Aussies than commenting on Sl or Ind. Your team was bundled out for 88 runs against England with all the great batsman and allrounders and lost the test.

  • on August 9, 2010, 9:44 GMT

    Right now, India is a better team than Sri Lanka - nothing wrong with that statement. But I wonder how you can call Sri Lanka a below par average team when they've consistently been in the latter stages of world competitions recently; often taking India out in the process. What Sri Lanka requires is more exposure, and let's hope they get it.

  • catalyst213 on August 9, 2010, 9:40 GMT

    @Koushik_biswas, spot on my friend. I think Sanga should shut up and concentrate on Lankan cricket more, it was due to his poor tactics that lanka lost the 3rd test match.

  • hellraiser9 on August 9, 2010, 9:28 GMT

    India has always been better team than SL no doubt it. SL cricketers are jealous to the core and it is evident from their words. Sanga and mahela dont command the same respect like tendulkar or dhoni.. Our indian players are great not just for their superior cricketing skills but also because they know how to be humble and respect. Dravid, Laxman, sehwag, sachin and dhoni are all wonderful cricketers. Any one can check the records of both captains and how SL fared outside SL. Sanga and mahela has to check before making stupid statements in public. And for all those who are making outrageous statements I suggest them to have a look at indian record before criticizing india .. they have done far better than SL and they have beaten all the teams they have toured so far in past few years. Dhoni as captain didn't get an opportunity to tour Aus or SA under his captaincy so no one can make any negative statements about this team. I am sure the time will tell all the answers.

  • auggie on August 9, 2010, 9:10 GMT

    Monga continues to chip away at poor Thilan Smaraweera. To say he was expandable in the first two test is absurd and downright cruel. Earlier Monga was forced to retract his comments about Samaraweera only being able make high scores after Sangakarra and Jayawardene laid a platform. Samaraweera made him eat his words by producing that brilliant knock in the third test after both the glamour boys of SL cricket bit the dust. Its easy too pick on a mild character like Samarweera. Monga wouldnt dare to attack Sangakarra or Mahela J. in this way. As regards his previous comments on Samaraweera being boring why doesnt he say likewise of Dravid, Vijay or even Tendulkar, the untouchable, who doesnt excatly race to his hundreds or fifties.

  • paapu4u on August 9, 2010, 8:40 GMT

    The commentary in last 3 test between the India and Srilanka are favoring one side. One srilankan guy name "Ravi" posted some comments about Tendulkar at the 2nd test. In the meaning like "Never say this tendulkars innings is his 48 th century and he used bad words about the Indians" sachin was batting at some 30+ runs. This comment was posted in the commentary. But Sachin posted the 200+ runs and I made many comments against that guy. But none of them get posted. This is not good. Yeah. Indians are not the dominant one. But they are #1 in this world with worst bowling attack. Even if zaheer, srisanth and bajji are present. Still I will say it wasn't the dominant one. If we have the bowlers like steyn, morne morkel, Or jimme anderson. None in the world can beat the Indians. Please give some chance to RP singh in swinging tracks. That were inidan selectors missing out. And ask him to sit away at the IPL's they are losing the confidence in those great arena!! Best of luck INDIA. :)

  • LalTM on August 9, 2010, 8:35 GMT

    I do not think that SL lost the 3rd and final match because of lack of bowling resources. Of course it could have made a big difference had Murali played in this match, but young Suraj Randev bowled with his heart out to put India struggling at 53 for 3 at stumps on 4th day. It was nothing but Kumar Sangakkara's negative and ultra-defensive approach was the reason that SL could not exert any pressure on Indian batsmen on the final day which eventually cost SL the match. It was unbelievable to see Kumar set a fully spread out field on the final day in a fourth inning of the match played on a deteriorated bouncy and turning wicket. Everybody was expecting to see an attacking field been set with few close in catchers around the bat when you defend a relatively smaller target. Most surprisingly he started with Welagedara who has been struggling through out the series to get his line and length correct. Kumar did not use Mendis early in the 1st session when the bowl was r

  • leo89 on August 9, 2010, 8:25 GMT

    All this talk about india being a far superior team than SL is rubbish.Looking forward to see how indian middle order will play after their senior citizens retire in a few years.

  • on August 9, 2010, 8:00 GMT

    I agree wid kaurava and all his ball observations...but but but..each and every time some one from our side has stood up to shuttttttttt the critics...yeah we have a below ordinary bowling attack now..had zaheer been der things wud hv been diff..he has destroyed many teams single handedly..mithun n ishant are still in learning stages..but the class mithun showed wid bat was appreciable...ojha is a star already..we r down but not out yet...we still are the numero uno..bring it on world.....JAI HO...

  • shanbhd on August 9, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    Sangakkara's catch was dropped in the third test match when he was on 23. Why is that the author refers only to a particular Tendulkar catch that was dropped and does not mention anything about the crucial catches of SriLankan players that were dropped?

  • PandyaHimanshu on August 9, 2010, 6:50 GMT

    Wake up call for our selectors now. Team cannot win with foreign coaches but with quality players. I do believe India has the best batting line up but at the same time please do something to back up bowlers. What happen to Vanktesh Prasad and why can't we hire Kumble in the spin department? We need our local to train our players and donot need to depend on someone from foreign to come and support our game. When do u re-call when Zaheer & Sreesanth plays full test series (min. 3 test matches). It's time to wake up for selectors as we are heading towards busy schedule.

  • on August 9, 2010, 6:19 GMT

    To the people who are tryint to explain about Harbhajan's failure and all,first of all the type of ball is not a issue,harbahajan is very expeirenced,second he has a very succesful record in Srilanka in fact second to his records in India,he was unfit and it was Dhoni's fault to play him.This article did not lay emphasis on Ishant and Mithun's efforts,both bowled there heart out without much rewards to show.Ishant took sum time ti settle in,but thats understandble considering the fact that he is a 20 yr old who is low in self-confidence and has to make a comeback on Placid surfaces burdened with responsiblity of being strike bowler.But he improved and whenevr conditions favoured him a bit,he deliverd,whether the spell in the 2nd day of the first test match,or in the third test match.Now he needs to belive in himslef and bowl confidently,and Mithun showed a big heart and he is a fighter.Indian bowling future is not tha doomed afterall.

  • KAIRAVA on August 9, 2010, 4:54 GMT

    Second Part (cont'd): The reasons that the cash rich Indian Cricket board often cites for not using Kookaburra or Duke balls in India is the associated high costs of these balls and unsuitable conditions of using these balls in India. Why then a relatively lesser rich cricket boards of Bangladesh & Sri Lanka which also have similar playing conditions to India's employ Kookaburra balls at their domestic league and also plays its home matches with it. Indian spinners have been bought up playing with SG balls but the moment they are given a Duke/Kookaburra ball to bowl, they start to leak more runs and their wickets gets dried up. It has also become a sort of a mental blockade for the Indian spinners when they play with these "alien balls" in "alien conditions".

  • KAIRAVA on August 9, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    First part: One reason that can be attributed to Harbhajan success at home and failure in away conditions is the make and quality of the cricket ball. India plays with the SG ball in domestic circuit as well as at test matches at home and is probably the only test nation playing with that ball. All the other big 5 test nations employ different balls at their home test matches. Australia,South Africa and Sri Lanka play with Kookaburra while England and Pakistan play with Duke balls at the domestic and home tests matches. Duke balls swings (and reverse swings) more and suits the swing bowlers and meduim pace seamers more. SG ball has a very prominent and upright seam because of which the balls the ball tends to grip the pitch and assist in spin and lateral movement. But it tends to lose its shine from the 30th over onwards and hence suits the spinners more. Kookaburras on the other hand has lesser seam but retains the shine till about 80 overs which holds the fast bowlers in good stead.

  • observer111 on August 9, 2010, 4:45 GMT

    I dont think india is a better team than SL at all. they are on-par. Both sides are weak in bowling , however i think india is slightly ahead in their batting strength compared to SL

  • cricPassion2009 on August 9, 2010, 4:35 GMT

    Nice picture. Sehwag is great guy - he gives wholehearted appreciation to his team-mates. Here he is genuinely congratulating VVSL.

    Good article. SL is one of the top sides in all forms of cricket. Any win against them will be well-earned.

  • CiMP on August 9, 2010, 3:18 GMT

    "It would be premature to call it bad captaincy, because perhaps Malinga's body was at the brink again." How do you say it? If Malinga had to be preserved it wd have been done best by giving him the ball when he was fresh from a day of rest and get him to use the early morning swing to his advantage and aim to get Sachin and VVS out of the way. Preserving him for getting some reverse swing later presumes SL will will not taking wickets with other bowlers telegraphing a msg to India and the other Lankan bowlers (except Randiv) what the captain thinks of their skills!) Is this good captaincy? Neither team (as they stand today - sans Murali and Zaheer and Harbhajan) is good enough to get all 20 wickets against good teams on a consistent basis. As far as batting is concerned India wd outperform Sri Lanka in most 'away' matches across the world. So anyone who says Sri Lanka is better than India must be blindly patriotic or needs to understand Test cricket better!

  • guptakapil13 on August 9, 2010, 0:21 GMT

    We all know that toss was important in all the test matches with pitches breaking. I will say India would have won test series atleast 2-0 if Dhoni would have won all the tosses. Hence headline isn't right, under the circumstances..

  • redneck on August 8, 2010, 23:59 GMT

    its hardly suprising india bouncing back! in dravid, tendulker and laxman they have 3 of the wisest heads going round in test cricket and add sehwag the most destructive bat in test cricket and they are always going to be hard to bowl to! infact its close to a nightmare when the pitch is taylored to favor the batsmen! @Koushik_Biswas you see through rose coloured glasses then, what have india got on south africa to claim that? you also have to back up at home against australia! india didnt even win this series against sri lanka. mate all i see is a very even contest to be the no. 1 team, certainly no undisputed no.1 team at the momment! to claim that i would expect away series wins in aus, india, s africa, sri lanka and england. no team is more than half way there in achieving this.

  • on August 8, 2010, 23:45 GMT

    I'd say both teams are identically poor and we won't see them winning in places like SA or Australia, or for that matter england unless dry pitches are provided. Both teams have batsman who can only score when the ball doesn't move or bounce. Look at their feet movement, yeah non existent, barring Sanga and Sachin. Laxman and Samaraweera can play spin because they have good wrists but when the ball moves their feet are glued to the crease. If SL needs to win overseas consistently we need to pick bowlers to get 20 wicktes. Dhammika Prasad has pace and is a wicket taker. Give Nuwan Pradeep a try. Play one spinner when playing in bouncy pitches. Same for India. Their batsman can set up a game but they don't have quality bowlers who can take 20 wickets barring Zaheer or Harbajan. The new generation Lankan batsman seem to be adapt at handling bounce as the A team won in Australia. Give these youngsters a chance. I have no problem if we lose aslong as we shor character and fight on the field

  • KayyJayy on August 8, 2010, 23:34 GMT

    It's funny how the Indian supporters start bashing the SL team just AFTER India wins the 3rd test and levels the series. Why don't you all just admit it was a tight series and both teams had weak bowling departments for most of the series. It was very hard to pick between the 2 teams. Both captains had negative tactics at times. Both teams have very talented stroke makers that can play on any surface. India is better overall but in this series the Sri Lankans played better. I dont think any of you can put down SL and say they're not that great overseas when they hardly get a chance to play overseas simply because we're not as cash strapped like the Indian board. At the moment both SL and India don't deserve to be the #1 and #2 teams.Period.

  • MasterClass on August 8, 2010, 23:20 GMT

    Sangakarra's comments about being the better team and about having different result if not dropping catches is extremely distasteful. You won't find Dhoni or any other captian for that matter making such inane statements. Sure catches need to be taken, but fact is even good fielders drop catched (Dilshan, Mahela, Raina, Laxman). BUT good teams find ways to win despite these setbacks by creating more opportunities. That's what Aus does, and what this new Indian team is beginning to do. I used to have respect for Sanga but not anymore! He just talks and makes no sense, or worse sounds like a sore looser. I do agree India always dig themselves a hole when travelling by promptly and preditcably loosing 1st match. They need to change this by PREPARING better! This is proven that it's only preparation, because India ALWAYS get's better towards end of a tour unlike most other teams that may start strong and quickly fade, particularly while touring in India.

  • Lahori_Munde on August 8, 2010, 23:04 GMT

    Both team had average bowling over in the last two tests, although Sanga will never admit that... SL was shockingly disapponting in last two tests... Even though they were playing home, they didn't look anything like #2 team in the world... By the way, Sanga was utterly confusing in his post match comments... He kept contradicting himself... He seems like he loves to talk but makes very little sence in the end... Oh by the way, how come no Indian player making superlative comments like Sanga and Mahela?

  • Test_Match_Fan on August 8, 2010, 22:53 GMT

    All 3 tests were exciting. These are test matches, not 1 days. This is exactly how they are supposed to be played and the best side wins over 5 days. Yes, sorry for the nay sayers on the drawn test. If the wicket is dead, you need to bat well to not lose. Galle victory was due to Sri Lanka's bowling strength. Indian batting was the difference at P. Sara. On to the Australia- India test series.Until that test match series, time for a break from cricket ............

  • SnowSnake on August 8, 2010, 22:42 GMT

    @Koushik_Biswas: I completely agree with what you said. Sanga and Mehala should have chosen their words carefully. I give credit to Indian players for not saying any unkind words, even after the 3rd test win, Laxaman was so humble. I think SL has a lot of talent, but Sanga ruins the sprit of the game. First, he made a big deal of URDS, next he challanged India's no. 1 ranking, and then Mehala called India less aggressive. Even the on field behavior of SL players was full of inappropriate emotions. I am not sure if SL players misunderstood what aggression was. The behavior of SL players sometimes reminded me of overly emotional Sreesanth.

  • Mannix16 on August 8, 2010, 22:35 GMT

    Why is everybody talking down upon Sri Lanka. Yes I agree that with Murali retired, they are going to face problems and I also that they should only talk when they start winning other games outside the country, but the same can be said for India who have been playing in their own backyard recently too. Very keen on seeing what will happen when they go to South Africa. Everybody is also talking about how after Murali is gone, Sri Lanka is not good. This has some truth. Obviously when any great players the country relied on is gone, they go through a transitional period for a while and have to replace the person and Sri Lanka have been trying to replace players for a while now and i think with Murali in their team, they are slightly better than India. India, however, never had a good fast bowler since Kapil Dev and Zaheer is the only thing close. ALso, what will happen when Tendulkar, Dravid, and Laxman retire.... India relies so heavily on those three batsman and Sehwag

  • on August 8, 2010, 22:23 GMT

    Lankans shouldn't be sore about it, it was a fighting match...at least they beat you at home, @praveen! Each country should have a ball of choice, it only adds to the charm of Tests and the advantage of playing at home. It would be great to have drama and anticipation to see whether a bowler would do better with a certain ball/in certain conditions. It would be great if they brought Readers balls back in England, too...used them along with Dukes.. The ICC needs a pitch committee and tracks must NOT be flat and batting friendly all the time. Sure, it's fine every so often, but i think venomous treacherous pitches are way more entertaining and TESTing.

  • BillyCC on August 8, 2010, 22:06 GMT

    Once again, India show that they deserve to be number one, but they are far from being an undisputed number one despite these ridiculous rankings suggesting they are well clear of South Africa. In my mind, the India-South Africa series will be the true series of the summer. If India win, then I will be happy to call them the undisputed number one, but only if they can also do well against Australia and New Zealand (either win or draw). If South Africa win or the series is drawn, then we are left with no clear number one for another year.

  • on August 8, 2010, 20:38 GMT

    @Praveen Induranga Samarasinghe a word of advise, we are not claiming we have the best bowling attack in the world, we admit our bowling sucks. But we not #1 team in the world without any reason. Please try to be where we are now and we can continue the discussion. Period.

  • on August 8, 2010, 20:35 GMT

    Sangakkara says after the match: "I thought right through the test we took more wickets and scored more runs." I wonder how it is possible to do that and still lose the match - the amount of delusion he (and his friend Mahela) is under beggars belief. The result, overall, is a fair indication of how the teams performed. India were better than Sri Lanka, but only just. It is definitely a brilliant performance in the last test by the Indian team to win in such a fashion without (at least) three of their first-choice players. And finally someone challenges Yuvi for his spot. Go Raina!

  • clouds1231230 on August 8, 2010, 20:26 GMT

    yaar i request to india or srilankan team to give one batsman to pakistani team

  • priyantha123 on August 8, 2010, 20:13 GMT

    I totally disagree with the comments of Koushik_Biswas. Due to illogical arithmetic of the ICC, India had become the no. 01 test team. Can the current Indian team face the pace attack of England in England and score more than 88 which Pakistan did? I doubt. It is true that India had improved drastically over the past couple of years. But the gentleman ship of both Indian cricketers and spectators is still at the stone age. They want India to win "some how" if not the players' houses will be stoned. It is hard to believe that the no. 01 test team is picked up from such a community. India, the country as whole, should understand that winning is only a part of the game and what is most important is the sportsmanship.

  • chokkashokka on August 8, 2010, 19:53 GMT

    Rivals? Since when did Sri Lanka begin to rival India? India were playing with a second string team - the entire bowling unit was from the India A side. Yes bowling is weak at the moment but even then to call India and Sri Lanka rivals gives the impression that the two sides are at the same level. Nothing can be further from the truth. There are 2 tiers within all the 8 major teams that play International tests - India, South Africa, Australia and this new English side belong in the top tier and rest of the teams in the second tier. Take Sri Lanka's home record out of the equation and see how good they are. Why is BCCI so hell-bent on playing so much cricket with these second tier teams is beyond anyone. Please no more torture with these games with no meaning - lets play the real teams!

  • on August 8, 2010, 19:52 GMT

    are u having a time a good time.NO, because the series is far reach of indian players .Till the 3rd day of 3rd test its all about srilanka and INDIAN players are just toiling hard for better performance.So ITS NOT THE PERFECT series for a world no1 team.So rather concentrate on future test series and try to lift up the performance.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on August 8, 2010, 19:16 GMT

    Both cupboards are bare,both teams field terribly, both countries have poor pitches and both teams have now very one dimensional sides i.e bat, bat, bat and hope for a collapse triggered by stupid shots. Now that Murali is gone, Sri Lanka WILL drop out of the league of 4-5 top teams close in strength. I don't see how on earth can Ind claim to "miss" Sreesanth and Yuraj, were they test stars in a previous life? Raina in form is at least just as good a test player and Sreesanth is one of the most volatile and quite wayward bowlers going around, it annoys me that persons call his name in the same breath as Zaheer Khan when talking of injured players of importance. World cricket needs a better Sri Lanka n Ind team and they better start building sides which r better rounded, firstly working on their fielding for goodness sake and address the bowling pronto, I believe both these teams have alot more to offer than they r displaying at the moment.

  • muhmmad7676 on August 8, 2010, 19:00 GMT

    sri lankan players need to improve their sportsmanship and should show sportsman spirit.many a times i have seen them appealing even knowing that the the batsman is not out. i think they practice it especially sangakara in one-dayers.you can note it.

  • IJustLoveCricket on August 8, 2010, 18:21 GMT

    Bring back the legendary chucker...

  • on August 8, 2010, 18:21 GMT

    Sri Lanka is a second rate side as compared to India , Australia, South Africa or England. India lost the toss thrice in a row but still managed to level the away series with a severely depleted bowling attack. Apart from this fact, Sri Lanka have yet to win a single Test Match in even India !

    Let's have more matches against Aussies , English and South Africans, Lankans are not good/ competitive enough in Test Matches. Sangakarra is so ultra-defensive in his approach by the by !

  • Ellis on August 8, 2010, 18:14 GMT

    India deserve credit for having fought back to even the series. However, Sri Lanka displayed an all too familiar characteristic. When the chips are down, and the going gets tough, the Sri Lankans rarely come to the party. Abysmal batting by the top order in the second innings cost them the match. Not enough bottle for them to tough it out, Samaraweera and Mendis apart. Randiv apart, the bowling in the Indian second innings was way below Test class. Coming events casting their shadows, I fear. Why Malinga would persist in short pitched bowling to batsmen of the Tendulkar, Laxman class on a wicket not helping him, is beyond me. Malinga's yorker is the best in the world. Where was it in a pressure situation? Mendis is no longer a threat in Test cricket, and Welegedera does not belong. India too have bowling problems and will not long remain at the top of the heap. An absorbing series with an equitable result.

  • crazyuddie on August 8, 2010, 18:08 GMT

    As for it being a batting line-up composed of only Sehwag until the second test: Yuvraj, Laxman and Tendulkar scored fifties in the first test.

  • on August 8, 2010, 18:05 GMT

    India genuinely lacks 145 plus speed bowlers. I wonder in the population of over 1.2 billion how come India cannot find at least 7-8 145 plus speed bowlers.

  • crazyuddie on August 8, 2010, 18:03 GMT

    To add to Cricinfo's list of unproofed, unchecked articles. The test @ WACA was in January 2008, and the bounce back test that Dhoni mentioned was in February of this year (2010). 2 years after, and the writer says "later that year" (in paragraph 3). What nonsense!

    This is not the only occasion, but while the errors have been steadily mounting, this here is a ridiculous and glaring one.

    Even if the writer's are no longer checking the articles themselves, someone else should.

    (Though it is quite clear that Cricinfo does not have an editing/proof-reading/fact-checking staff.)

    I think I am going to start pointing out other instances as well; simply because I am tired of this.

  • on August 8, 2010, 18:02 GMT

    India genuinely lacks 145 plus speed bowlers. I wonder in the population of over 1.2 billion how come India cannot find at least 7-8 145 plus speed bowlers.

  • VVedsen on August 8, 2010, 17:42 GMT

    This is a good article. It brings out the strength of Indian team in the right perspective. India had a mission to perform well and they did it with such a poor bowling line up.

    Inspite of being written off, Ishant Sharma played a big role overall. It shows the kind of leadership and faith shown on him by the team management.

    Nothing needs to be said for Sri Lanka. They are a par below average team who play and win mostly on their own soil. Half the time they are not entertained much outside the zone as are hardly competetive. Test cricket should be played at a minimum in Sri Lanka if Test Cricket is to be preserved.

    Muralitharan, had only his own record in sight. He overlooked the criticality of the series to play it till the last test and retire. He underestimated the Indians. It shows his real intent. His home team paid it in real by his selfish attitude.

  • on August 8, 2010, 17:41 GMT

    Please no more test or any games against lankans for a year atleast. I know Indian board wants to help the Lankans out with their money crisis but this is way too much games

  • on August 8, 2010, 17:35 GMT

    Since the great Muttiah Muralitharan aka Murali has retired from the great game Sri Lanka's cricket seems to be in a spot of bother...... His last game was also the first of the series against India which he helped Sri Lanka win and also went on to become the first man in the history of the game to claim 800 test wickets. After his departure, the second game was a high scoring dull draw and the last game saw India coming out on top. One wonders "Could the absence of this one man make the difference between winning and losing?" Congrats to India for the tactics used in recognition of the void left by Murali in the bowling department. One can remember Murali hailing the great Brian Charles Lara of the West Indies as the best batsman he ever bowled against. It is left to be seen how the likes of Chris Gayle, Adrian Barath, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Dwayne Bravo etc... cope against the Sri Lankans without the great Murali later this year...........

  • KAIRAVA on August 8, 2010, 17:31 GMT

    Second Part (cont'd): The reasons that the cash rich Indian Cricket board often cites for not using Kookaburra or Duke balls in India is the associated high costs of these balls and unsuitable conditions of using these balls in India. Why then a relatively lesser rich cricket boards of Bangladesh & Sri Lanka which also have similar playing conditions to India's employ Kookaburra balls at their domestic league and also plays its home matches with it. Indian spinners have been bought up playing with SG balls but the moment they are given a Duke/Kookaburra ball to bowl, they start to leak more runs and their wickets gets dried up. It has also become a sort of a mental blockade for the Indian spinners when they play with these "alien balls" in "alien conditions".

  • KAIRAVA on August 8, 2010, 17:19 GMT

    Second Part (cont'd): The reasons that the cash rich Indian Cricket board often cites for not using Kookaburra or Duke balls in India is the associated high costs of these balls and unsuitable conditions of using these balls in India. Why then a relatively lesser rich cricket boards of Bangladesh & Sri Lanka which also have similar playing conditions to India's employ Kookaburra balls at their domestic league and also plays its home matches with it. Indian spinners have been bought up playing with SG balls but the moment they are given a Duke/Kookaburra ball to bowl, they start to leak more runs and their wickets gets dried up. It has also become a sort of a mental blockade for the Indian spinners when they play with these "alien balls" in "alien conditions".

  • KAIRAVA on August 8, 2010, 17:19 GMT

    First part: One reason that can be attributed to Harbhajan success at home and failure in away conditions is the make and quality of the cricket ball. India plays with the SG ball in domestic circuit as well as at test matches at home and is probably the only test nation playing with that ball. All the other big 5 test nations employ different balls at their home test matches. Australia,South Africa and Sri Lanka play with Kookaburra while England and Pakistan play with Duke balls at the domestic and home tests matches. Duke balls swings (and reverse swings) more and suits the swing bowlers and meduim pace seamers more. SG ball has a very prominent and upright seam because of which the balls the ball tends to grip the pitch and assist in spin and lateral movement. But it tends to lose its shine from the 30th over onwards and hence suits the spinners more. Kookaburras on the other hand has lesser seam but retains the shine till about 80 overs which holds the fast bowlers in good stead.

  • inswing on August 8, 2010, 16:56 GMT

    Disagree that the sides have "bare cupboards". If you take away top 2 or 3 first choice bowlers of ANY team, the performance is going to suffer. Take away Asif and Amer from Pak and make them play on SL wickets, and see what happens. Do it to Aus, SA, or Eng and see what happens. It is to be expected that third choice bowlers (or batsmen) cannot provide the same level of performance as a first choice bowler (or batsman). That is why the are third choice, after all. The wickets are to be blamed above all. Stricter regulations are needed sorely to ensure certain standard of wickets. The wicket is the heart of test cricket. This has been going on for decades, with only lip service paid whenever there is a snoozefest. Wickets cannot be neglected any more.

  • on August 8, 2010, 16:04 GMT

    bit funny article...overestimating india i would say...they are not that good...specially the bowling...

  • on August 8, 2010, 15:43 GMT

    Sri Lanka are only very good at home. Overseas barring certain places they have been pedestrian. And with Murali gone they are not going to be any dangerous in those places (England,New Zealand)... India are also not exceptional overseas but definitely better than the Lankans overseas normally. Heck Lankans are yet to beat India in a test match in India even once. In Srilanka Indians put up some semblence of fight while Lankans have never won a single test in India..Australia and South Africa and that would a few more years (or who knows decades) probably. Meanwhile I don't think India played like World Number 1 side. I mean get a decent bowling attack !Indians need to really pull up their socks.

  • Koushik_Biswas on August 8, 2010, 15:37 GMT

    India is a better team than SL. Period. Missing 3 front line bowlers. Missing their opener who also happened to be the #1 ranked batsman a little while ago. First 7 batsmen each capable to turn out as the match winner. More importantly, SL is jealous, while India is gentlemanly. The venom and acrimony on offer from SL captain, ex-captain, players and fans suggest that with Murali, the spirit has retired from their side. They are a good side, and capable of beating anybody on their day. But that does not make them a better side, as quality is judged by consistency, reliability and most importantly - record. India has won 15 tests, home and away, over the last 3 years. They have an impeccable balance between offense and defense. Mahela's claim on lack of aggression is incorrect - it is India's balance that showed during the 2nd test. You do not want to be Ponting who always bats after winning the toss (and gets bundled for 88). With Zaheer, Sreesanth and Bhajji, I only see undisputed #1.

  • on August 8, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    Its highlighted about tendulkar's drop catch at SSC everywhere. but how many times indian fielders are droping the opposition supreme batsman? so please lets stop always criticising indian team. why india is no.1 test team? why you all just criticise indian team. and never highlight their acheivement. indian spinners did well and they were the best than srilankan spinners. thats y we got the good result and even the 2nd test we dominated. now adays cricinfo commentry feels onsided. thats not good approach. the way commentry done is not good. And just dont be like some people who asked for tendulkar's retirement. such type of comments against Indian team is not good encouragement. I dont understand why all these gossips against indian team only.

  • nataraajds on August 8, 2010, 15:25 GMT

    credit goes to Indians to come back and level the series. Not an easy job to score 256 on 4th innings in SL against likes of Malinga ,Mendis and Randiv. Great batting by Laxman & Sachin. Raina & sehwag did an excelent job and infact sehwag early strike in the 2nd innings put india on winning track. He deserves man-of-the series.

    Find of the series - Raina. Indinan bowling below standard. Need to address this issue seriously & strongly feel that we should have a bowling coach in the team. Dravid was dissappointing in this series, but sure he has the class to bounce back quickly.

  • catalyst213 on August 8, 2010, 14:56 GMT

    It was a great series, Lankans are great hosts and India just showed why they're No.1 team to answer any critics. It was always going to be difficult to beat Sri Lanka on their soil, but it was exciting finish to a great series which saw the farewll of Greatest Murali and they found a new fantastic bowler, Randhiv. Sanga should have done more as captain but he failed to employ attcaking field and singles were taken at will by the Indians. Hope the ODI's are exciting too.

  • Navin84 on August 8, 2010, 14:52 GMT

    If Murli had played the other 2 Tests, SL would have won 2-0. Then again no one can play forever, so SL won't be so tough now.

  • Lahori_Munde on August 8, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    Both team had average bowling over in the last two tests, although Sanga will never admit. SL was shockingly disapponting in last two tests. Even though they were playing home, they didn't look anything like #2 team in the world. By the way, Sanga was utterly confusing in his post match comments. He kept contradicting himself. He seems like he loves to talk but makes very little sence in the end. Oh by the way, how come no Indian player making superlative comments like Sanga and Mahela?

  • cric-procrastinator on August 8, 2010, 14:41 GMT

    Humility is an admirable quality and without humility you cannot scale success.I have never seen Sangakkara give credit to other teams when they win, after sri lanka loses we have sangakkara claiming they were the superior team. If you were the superior team you would have won the series. Australia play tough cricket but when they loose they dont make excuses, they dont proclaim they were the better team instead they say the other team played better cricket and go back to the drawing board to come with a better plan. I have never seen any Indian team say they were a better team after loosing.

  • cricdick on August 8, 2010, 14:36 GMT

    In 2nd and 3rd test, India managed to play well enough.

  • on August 8, 2010, 14:29 GMT

    Its going to continue for some more days though in the tri series. I particularly hope that NZ qualifies for the final

  • henchart on August 8, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    Indians have scrapped through,and for the second time this year.Fact is ,Indians are the No.1 ranked test side but not a dominant one.

  • syedmkr on August 8, 2010, 14:16 GMT

    Both teams are not equal in the bowling dept. Obviously India is weaker side in bowling throughout the series. India's concern is to improve the bowling part.

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  • syedmkr on August 8, 2010, 14:16 GMT

    Both teams are not equal in the bowling dept. Obviously India is weaker side in bowling throughout the series. India's concern is to improve the bowling part.

  • henchart on August 8, 2010, 14:18 GMT

    Indians have scrapped through,and for the second time this year.Fact is ,Indians are the No.1 ranked test side but not a dominant one.

  • on August 8, 2010, 14:29 GMT

    Its going to continue for some more days though in the tri series. I particularly hope that NZ qualifies for the final

  • cricdick on August 8, 2010, 14:36 GMT

    In 2nd and 3rd test, India managed to play well enough.

  • cric-procrastinator on August 8, 2010, 14:41 GMT

    Humility is an admirable quality and without humility you cannot scale success.I have never seen Sangakkara give credit to other teams when they win, after sri lanka loses we have sangakkara claiming they were the superior team. If you were the superior team you would have won the series. Australia play tough cricket but when they loose they dont make excuses, they dont proclaim they were the better team instead they say the other team played better cricket and go back to the drawing board to come with a better plan. I have never seen any Indian team say they were a better team after loosing.

  • Lahori_Munde on August 8, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    Both team had average bowling over in the last two tests, although Sanga will never admit. SL was shockingly disapponting in last two tests. Even though they were playing home, they didn't look anything like #2 team in the world. By the way, Sanga was utterly confusing in his post match comments. He kept contradicting himself. He seems like he loves to talk but makes very little sence in the end. Oh by the way, how come no Indian player making superlative comments like Sanga and Mahela?

  • Navin84 on August 8, 2010, 14:52 GMT

    If Murli had played the other 2 Tests, SL would have won 2-0. Then again no one can play forever, so SL won't be so tough now.

  • catalyst213 on August 8, 2010, 14:56 GMT

    It was a great series, Lankans are great hosts and India just showed why they're No.1 team to answer any critics. It was always going to be difficult to beat Sri Lanka on their soil, but it was exciting finish to a great series which saw the farewll of Greatest Murali and they found a new fantastic bowler, Randhiv. Sanga should have done more as captain but he failed to employ attcaking field and singles were taken at will by the Indians. Hope the ODI's are exciting too.

  • nataraajds on August 8, 2010, 15:25 GMT

    credit goes to Indians to come back and level the series. Not an easy job to score 256 on 4th innings in SL against likes of Malinga ,Mendis and Randiv. Great batting by Laxman & Sachin. Raina & sehwag did an excelent job and infact sehwag early strike in the 2nd innings put india on winning track. He deserves man-of-the series.

    Find of the series - Raina. Indinan bowling below standard. Need to address this issue seriously & strongly feel that we should have a bowling coach in the team. Dravid was dissappointing in this series, but sure he has the class to bounce back quickly.

  • on August 8, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    Its highlighted about tendulkar's drop catch at SSC everywhere. but how many times indian fielders are droping the opposition supreme batsman? so please lets stop always criticising indian team. why india is no.1 test team? why you all just criticise indian team. and never highlight their acheivement. indian spinners did well and they were the best than srilankan spinners. thats y we got the good result and even the 2nd test we dominated. now adays cricinfo commentry feels onsided. thats not good approach. the way commentry done is not good. And just dont be like some people who asked for tendulkar's retirement. such type of comments against Indian team is not good encouragement. I dont understand why all these gossips against indian team only.