It is impossible not to look at the background. For the second time in two games, Gautam Gambhir laid a platform for India to chase, only to be denied a century. For the second time he fell in the 90s, to have India wobble thereafter. Against Australia, MS Dhoni dug them out of trouble but against Sri Lanka, a tie was all he could manage.

This time, India were chasing a relatively simple 237, but the track was not a batting paradise. Even so, Gambhir got the team into a fine position, with the team at 178 when he was run out in the 41st. In the previous match, Gambhir was adjudged lbw, this time around he was sold dear by his captain, who had made the call for a single: with Gambhir well on his way, Dhoni turned him back. Gambhir missed another century, caught short by a direct hit from Nuwan Kulasekara, and his fall gave Sri Lanka an opening; Dhoni would later say it cost India victory.

During his innings, Gambhir took charge of the chase with assurance, and it will be interesting if India will continue their rotation policy and bench him for the next game. It was another polished effort from Gambhir, whose faultless 91 showed he has moved on well from his Test-match woes.