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Match Analysis

Relentless India make mockery of pitch, conditions and Sri Lanka

If the batters don't get you, the bowlers will, except that most of the time, the batters and the bowlers will get you

It's just one thing after another.
A sledgehammer. A scalpel. A bandsaw. A stick of dynamite. A lockpick. Any tool they need. Whatever it takes to tear the opposition down. On any conditions that present themselves.
Batters who will take on the short ball early. Batters who will leave judiciously, defend until the bad balls come. Others who charge out to the crease, reverse pressure, seize a passage of play by the collar. Yet more who soak up balls at first, switch up through the gears, farm the strike, shepherd the tail.
Early on day one at the Chinnaswamy, even India seem surprised at how dry the Chinnaswamy surface is. They had clearly wanted a turning pitch, but a day one minefield? Rohit Sharma edges one that turns hard away from him before 10 overs were done. Virat Kohli is out lbw to one that rags back and shoots low. He spends what seems like a lifetime aghast that the ball has skidded into his pads. That the pitch has allowed this to happen.
But 76 for 3 after putting yourself into bat, then 86 for 4? Why are you worried, boss? We've got guys. And those guys have levels. Out comes Rishabh Pant. In the first Test, he had done his best hermit impression right up until he'd got to 50. It's not a very good hermit impression, but he tries, bless him.
But here he comes at No. 5, and we know which Pant we're going to get. Second ball he sits back and crashes it though cover. Next one, he's down the track, the wildest of swings across the line, almost getting caught, but not minding, because even if he had been, there are other guys. There are no brakes on this Pant innings. When you've got someone at No. 9 who has a first-class century and a Test average of 30, who needs 'em? He's 14 off 7 balls. Then 25 off 12. By the time he's out for 39 off 29, India seem already to be galloping to a total that will sorely test Sri Lanka.
Because Pant is doing what Pant is doing, at the other end, Shreyas Iyer doesn't have to. In his first seven balls, he's made just two. But then he decides to climb into the fun anyway, helped no end by some truly wayward Sri Lanka bowling. India had a Plan A - to bat more-or-less normally. The Plan B involved sending Pant down the hatch with basket full of illegal fireworks.
But fellas. This is India you're playing. On their home tracks. They have great bowlers. But before those great bowlers, there are other great bowlers
Iyer has hit 13 first-class hundreds, and has a Test ton that he scored at a strike rate of 61, but in addition to this, is also an IPL superstar. He can choose his own spot on the vast spectrum of his ability. He hits some front-foot boundaries first, while Pant is an eruption of technicolour lights and gunpowder smoke. When Pant is eventually out, Iyer turns the dial up a little more. Now the back-foot shots are humming. He crashes Lasith Embuldeniya past point, clams Praveen Jayawickrama through fine leg.
Then another seamless switch up the gears. He's down the track launching Dhananjaya de Silva high over deep midwicket, twice in the same over, to get to his half-century off 54 balls. At this stage more than three quarters of his runs have come in boundaries. With the lower order now in attendance, Iyer unleashes even more mayhem. Fours through fine leg and midwicket. Two jump-down and into-the-sightscreen sixes. Of India's last 47 runs, 42 come from Iyer.
If the batters don't get you the bowlers will, except that most of the time, the batters and the bowlers will get you. And if anything, the bowlers will do the getting of you even harder than the batters.
When Sri Lanka had the ball, all the talk was the turn. Balls shot off the straight like ballistic missiles. Others torpedoed beneath the bat. The puffs of dust. Catchers around the bat. Ravindra Jadeja, and R Ashwin are licking their lips, you thought. Axar Patel maybe most of all, with his bowling average of less than 12 after 10 bowling innings. Sri Lanka send Kusal Mendis in to open the batting ahead of Lahiru Thirimanne, possibly because he is generally a better starter against spin.
But fellas. This is India you're playing. On their home tracks. They have great bowlers. But before those great bowlers, there are other great bowlers. Under lights, Jasprit Bumrah was getting the ball to dance in the air, fidget off the seam, and jet up off a short length with a course set for the batters' throats. Whatever windows of opportunity their conditions provide, India have bowlers to blast those windows open until they're hangar doors. Bumrah had two wickets in his first 13 balls. Both came off thick edges from leaden-footed batters, who had girded themselves for a different challenge entirely. Later, an off-cutter bounces more than Angelo Mathews expects.
At the other end, Shami jags one one way to burst through Dimuth Karunaratne's defenses. Against Dhananjaya de Silva, he seams it hard in the other direction to get the batter lbw - Pant behind the stumps insisting his captain go for the review, even though it looked a little high to almost everyone in the stadium. Pant, the dizzying fireworks guy, in his role as wicketkeeper acting like some wizened sage. Levels.
It is relentless. They will not stop. So many of their players have multiple responses to any situation.
And when oppositions have as atrocious a day as Sri Lanka had on Saturday - their spinners bowling way too short, too far down legside, their fielders failing to hold the tougher chances - they find themselves basically reduced to props in India's elite showcase, and basically out of the match already.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf