Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Post-Mortem report

India add yet another chapter to their first test disasters losing to Sri Lanka by 10 wickets, which, in spite of a whole day’s play being washed off.
So what went wrong?
Though there were many other reasons for the humbling defeat, it eventually comes down to the bowling that made the difference. When you play a test with four bowlers, you really cannot afford one of them to have a bad day and it doesn’t get any better when two of them do, and the third one is only making his debut. It clearly looked like Harbhajan and Murali were bowling on two different surfaces. Not so motivating for the one Murali named his successor, is it?
Harbhajan is way past his prime and Ishant looks the shadow of the bowler who troubled Ricky Ponting in Australia a couple of years ago. Watching Malinga and Herath score runs at will, the Indian batsmen would have thought to themselves which attack they would have rather fancied playing.
The batting performance was nothing to boast about either. The middle order having played no cricket since the IPL would have liked more than a single practice match ahead of the test series. Gautam Gambhir had a match to forget and Dravid looked patchy throughout his innings. Sehwag, having played brilliantly in the first innings, played one shot too many in the second. Yuvraj never loses an opportunity to set tongues wagging about his place in the test line up. Sachin was exceptional, but you can’t expect to save a match (forget winning) by scoring eighty odd. Laxman played a good knock, but it was too little too late.
India can still stage a comeback in the series. Sri Lanka will be weakened by Murali’s presence but test matches are still all about picking 20 wickets, which looks a bit farfetched for this Indian bowling attack. For India to put up a fight, the batsman will have to pile a mountain of runs. Not something the world No.1 ranked team would like saying!!