Indian team receives their third biggest defeat in their history of test cricket when they lost the first test match against the Sri Lankan lions. The main factor for their loss was two M (Murali and Mendis). These two bowlers not only kept tight line and length but also kept all Indian batsman’s guessing while they were at the crease.
First test match was completely dominated by both Sri Lanka spinners M.Muralitharan and debutant A.Mendis who between them took 19 wickets. With the help of these performances Sri Lanka able to thrash India by an innings and 239 runs in four days.
Indian team not only needs to make strategy to tackle these two bowlers but also have to improve their performance in the certain aspects of the game. Since in the last test match played at SSC three Sri Lankan batsmans able to score centuries with the help of some poor Indian fielding and way ward bowling by both the spinners.
In the first test match the top scorer Mahela Jayawardene who made 136 runs was dropped by wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik twice on 55 and 96 while Thilan Samaraweera, the next highest scorer with 127, was dropped by Gautam Gambhir at short leg when he was on 53.
Both Indian spinners failed to perform up to their expectation they didn’t look like bowlers who can get the wickets when required. Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh failed to hit the right length at the Sinhalese Sports Club and as a result could not place any pressure on the Sri Lankan batsmen.
Pitch at Galle stadium is more likely to support pace bowlers but spinner also have role to play during 2nd inning and both team look to go into the match with right combination. In the last test match played at this ground Sri Lanka able to dismiss England for mere 81 runs in their first inning and not surprisingly all the wickets are bagged by the Sri Lankan fast bowlers. So it will be another test of skills for the Indians and they need to win this match to remain alive in the test series.
"In Galle, because the sea is so close to the venue, the wind can be of assistance. Murali (Muttiah Muralitharan) knows this and is largely a result of his success at the venue." All in all Indian batting and bowling line up will face an uphill task in the second test match too.
If Indian team doesn’t want to repeat what happened at SSC then Garry Kirsten need to remind all the Indian batsman that they were playing test matches not twenty20 or ODI. Indian bowlers also need to hit the right length to get full use of Galle wickets.
Indian Squad for Test Series: Anil Kumble (Captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag (vice-capt), Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Parthiv Patel (WK), RP Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel.
Sri Lanka Squad From: Michael Vandort, Malinda Warnapura, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene (Captain), Thilan Samaraweera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Prasanna Jayawardene, Chaminda Vaas, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis, Nuwan Kulasekera, Chamara Silva, Thilan Thushara, Chamara Kapugedera, Dammika Prasad.