Ind vs SL, 2nd Test: 5 things Team India needs to do to level series in Colombo

first_imgA win was evident for team India within four days at Galle. They were in the front seat for most part of the 1st Test against the Lankans. Two of their batsmen had scored centuries in the first innings, their frontline spinner scalped 10 wickets in the match, their lead was more than Sri Lanka’s first innings score.But, it only needed a couple of sessions for the hosts to turn the match around in their favour. Dinesh Chandimal anchored the Sri Lankan innings on Day 3 and Rangana Herath made sure India were on the receiving end at the end of the match.Sri Lankans seized the moment, let their left arm spinner do all the damage, watched how Indians imploded, the way they fell one after the other, failing to fend Herath off.When the wounded visitors face the Sri Lankan challenge in the 2nd Test starting on Thursday, they should remember not to err again, not to make the mistakes that saw them go one down in the three match series.1. A solid batsman at three: Rohit Sharma brims with potential. Any day, the elegant right hander can go on and make a double century. He can attack, brings in the flair factor, can take team India’s score past 300 one each batting day.But the team needs to wait and wait for the gifted batsman to click. His average in his first year of  Test cricket was a staggering 66.60 and for the past two years the team has been waiting for him to get back to touch.advertisementEnough of waiting. Team India needs a solid batsman at No. 3 who can spend time at the middle and  anchor an innings. It’s time Sharma repays the faith the captain and selectors have in him. If he fails one more time, the team needs to give Cheteshwar Pujara a chance at the crucial spot, which once looked exclusively the right hander’s.2. Dependable all-rounder: Virat Kohli’s strategy to attack with five bowlers is  praiseworthy. But it can backfire, in fact, it backfired when there was a need for an extra batsman. Ravichandran Ashwin, who was expected to contribute with the bat failed in both the innings at Galle. In the second innings, things could have played out differently for India, if they had an extra batsman. Stuart Binny’s inclusion seems to be a positive move, but it will be fruitful only if the all-rounder contributes.  3. Seize crucial moments: On foreign tours, India have had the problem of letting the opposition’s tail wag. As a result India have often fell dramatically from winning positions. At Galle too, India let off the grip when Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne counterattacked. Preparing better to handle such situations might help Virat Kohli’s men. Aggression coupled with never-say-die attitude should help Indians confront the issue.4. Sanga’s swansong; stay focused: Colombo Test is all about Sri Lanka’s prolific run scorer Kumar Sangakkara. It is the veteran’s swansong Test and he has drawn all the attention. The possibility of Indians losing focus and getting distracted are aplenty. Virat Kohli and his men should stay clear of all the hype and keep attacking the Sri Lankans. They should realise that a series-levelling performance is at stake.5. Hunt in pairs: Bowling in Test cricket is all about hunting in group. On most occasions, the performance of one bowler in a team stands out. But scorecards often don’t tell us the full story.At Galle, Ravichandran Ashwin ran through the Sri Lankan line-up in the first innings. Support from the other end wasn’t needed. But in the second innings, when Chandimal and Thirimanne launched the counterattack, Ashwin lost rhythm. The other bowlers put up a poor show as they were not able to make an inroad. The entire unit leaked runs which led to the turnaround. The members of the attack should look to complement each other, thereby making their work easier.last_img read more