Sri Lanka v India, 4th ODI, Colombo July 31, 2012

Sri Lanka miss chance to attack part-timers


The big question after the XIs were announced was how India would fare with four specialist bowlers, given that their attack had been expensive in the previous three games when they had played five. After the part-time bowlers took 5 for 112 in 22 overs, though, most were left shaking their heads at the ridiculousness.

Sri Lanka had allowed Manoj Tiwary, a batsman bowling steady legbreaks, to take his best List A figures of 4 for 61 while Virender Sehwag got a wicket in eight economical overs of loopy offbreaks. The hosts made 251 for 8 after an opening partnership of 91, and Mahela Jayawardene was left to rue his side's seventh loss in eight ODI series since the 2011 World Cup after yet another Virat Kohli century.

India's three medium-pacers bowled just six overs each as Sri Lanka struggled against Tiwary and Sehwag, who bowled 12 straight overs from the 31st to the 42nd for a combined return of 3 for 50. Jayawardene said the pitch and the part-timers were both slow and that Sri Lanka lost too many wickets to be able to accelerate.

"[It was] probably a 280-290 wicket [so we were] maybe 30 runs short because of the way we batted," Jayawardene said. "But no excuses, we never handled certain situations well and created a hole which was tough for us to get out of. The plan was to take on the fifth bowler. But it is tough to do that when we were losing wickets. We never had the momentum. We lost wickets in the Powerplays and didn't have any control.

"[We were] trying to build partnerships so that we could have a platform which we didn't. We had to accelerate as well, we knew the score we were going to post wasn't going to be enough on this wicket. Trying to take risk didn't work. We didn't execute the plan well and credit to the Indians they kept putting a lot of pressure on our guys."

Kohli also commented on the lack of pace in the pitch and praised Tiwary's performance in his first ODI since December 2011. "It is a slow wicket so even if the part-timers land the ball in the right areas they can do the job if you want to play seven batsmen," Kohli said. "And it was good for Manoj as well because he hadn't got a game for a while and he got to play again. It's all about giving the challenge to the guy who has been sitting on the bench and seeing how he reacts to it. I think he did a brilliant job for us with ball. Couldn't capitalise with the bat [although] he got a good start. But as I said, the part-timers can be effective if bowled at the right time and if they bowl in the right areas so it was worth taking a chance and it paid off for us today."

Sri Lanka had India at 109 for 4 during the chase but Suresh Raina survived a close shout for caught-behind on 2 and was dropped by Jayawardene on 19, the same score on which he had been put down in the third game. Raina went on to make an unbeaten 58 in a match-winning partnership of 146 with Kohli, who was also dropped, on 100. Jayawardene credited India for handling the pressure better.

"They handled those situations better than us. We needed a couple more wickets when they were four down. I thought we got Suresh caught behind but I don't know how the others felt about it. But that is how the game goes. Things could have probably been different but we move on."

Jayawardene was asked what it would take for Sri Lanka to beat India, against whom they have just two wins from their previous ten meetings. "They have got a good batting line-up. In the last two-three years what we found is to control them we need to pick up wickets and that is what we have been trying to do with five bowlers all the time. I think they win matches with their batting [and] not so much with their bowling so for us to beat them we need to control their batting line-up."

That hasn't been happening as Sri Lanka have taken just six, five and four India wickets in the three losses in this series. Jayawardene acknowledged the need for an improved showing in the final ODI in Pallekele near Kandy.

"The bowling obviously didn't look penetrative enough and obviously not a good fielding performance in the last four games," Jayawardene said. "I know a couple of guys are really struggling with fatigue. [We will] see what the options are and try and motivate them to go out and take-up the challenge. Kandy is going to be a different challenge altogether. We need to try and put a decent performance together and see where we are at with India because we haven't played to our potential in this series."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Prashan on August 4, 2012, 1:24 GMT

    @coolindianfan, you are wrong in 2 points. We beat you all 2-1 in the test series in 2001. Regarding our test series in India, we held on to a 0-0 draw in 1997. Please dont say that you all thrashed Sri Lanka in ODI series in Sri Lanka as there were many games which were thrillers as thrilling encounters are not thrashers. I agree our mental approach and negative mindset has been behind our recent below par record against India unlike our record against any other side. Hope that ends.

  • Mike on August 3, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    The Heading should read, Indian Part timers take India to Victory. Whenever SL Batemen tried to attack, they lost wickets. This formula of part-timers may not work everytime.

  • kunal on August 3, 2012, 1:38 GMT

    @sinhaya admit it ,India on majority of ocassions had ther better on Lanka .They talk about wc 96,wc 2007 the asia cup 2008. But then India also won natwest 2002, compaq 2009,cb series in 2008, wc 99,wc 2003 and the biggest of them all 2011. Even though Lanka went ahead in cb series 2012 and asia cup 2012 but u did not claim the tittle ,we claimed it . So global events the score is 6-3 .Even if i am missing an event or 2 the number numbers at the most will be 6-6.How can some one say bilateralseries be more important then odi series? as far as odi series are concerned other then 96-97 we won all of 5 series 2 of them in your own backyard and India thrashed srilanka royally in all of them .The numbers do the talking Lanka isin't as good as India.In test matches India won 2 tests in Srilanka srilanka never won India ,and they lost all test series in India.India did manage to draw a series in sri lanka in 2010 and 2001 and won one in 93 .

  • associate cricket fan on August 3, 2012, 0:54 GMT

    the different between ind batsman and Sl batsman is ind always rotate the strike and look for the two and after that bowler try to do something to stop them rotatig the strike. when that happens he eventually give a loose ball and indians put it away for boundary. but sri lankan batsmen take too many dot balls and always looking for boundary that ends up costing their wicket. this allows the bowlers to dominate. this the key part of IND succes.thirimanne is the only batsmen who rotated the srike well for sri lanka. they need a batsmen who can rotate strike. but the bowling looks ok to me. sometimes the fielders dint back them sometimes the batsmen dint score enough runs. there was too much for them to do. also tharanga should be droped. he scores one 50 in every 10 innings and thats also a very slow 50. im sure dimuth or bhanuka or thirimanne cant do worse than him. atleast give a try.

  • mathew on August 2, 2012, 16:32 GMT

    Posted by Sinhaya on (August 02 2012, 16:11 PM GMT),are you serious when you say that srilanka prevented India in Asia cup even though they beat Pakistan and it means srilanka lost to Bangladesh knowingly and purposefully and some SL fans are feeling proud that their team underperforming but happy they lose to Bangladesh ,so that India don't go to finals.? If this is serious,then it's really a shame ,can't say more.

  • Prashan on August 2, 2012, 16:01 GMT

    @Narbavi, forgot to mention Pakistan also beating you all in 2005 in Bangalore test? In our last trip to India in late 2009, India were the beneficiaries sans DRS. Umpires made way too many howlers in India's favor forcing us to go 2-0 down.

  • narbavi on August 2, 2012, 15:57 GMT

    @siri12345: ha ha man seriously, what was that last one?? You count CB series because you played the finals, that's seriously hilarious to say the least, i would have agreed had you won the tournament but you just made the final nothing else, and to top it all don't you even remember the fact that your team lost to us twice and we lost to you only once?? you can check our cricinfo if you had forgotten it!!

  • Prashan on August 2, 2012, 15:55 GMT

    @Anindya Sen, we can survive after Sanga and Mahela quit. No legend will last forever. Sanath had his days and of course he was never meant to stay forever. We have emerging talents like Thisara Perera, Chandimal, Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Perera, Roshan Jayatissa, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Sachithra Senanayake etc to takeover. Of course I wont be surprised if our records against other teams will be good but not against India due to our negative mindset which prevailed since 2008. We are quite good as we did very well against Aussies in the CB series and also against England at home. If you are talking of humiliation and knocking India from tournaments, well dont we have the right to play the CB series finals? Dont we have the right to make it to next round of 2007 WC even though you all failed badly then?

  • mythily on August 2, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    Posted by siri12345 on (August 02 2012, 13:38 PM GMT), how do you even consider that you won the CB series when Australia won the cant claim the series title when one team gets knocked out but you need to win the finals.If you want to check the stats between the two teams,check head to head.In CB series India won 2 matches unlike srilanka 1 match and I match tied.Then how do you talk about 5 th series win as CB series? You need to understand winning series means winning the finals which India won cb series during 2008 by knocking srilanka out and winning the finals against strong australian team by 2-0 and not what you describe here.Try to understand the basics first.accept India performing better in your home ground instead of giving excuses again and again

  • amit on August 2, 2012, 15:09 GMT

    @siri12345 ...u r really funny!!!!!!!!!!!!

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