By Brian Thomas
Sri Lanka will work very hard to iron out the grey areas that cost them the test at Kanpur. Sangagkara is well aware that his front line batsmen need to bat for longer periods of time. Application and concentration will be his key advice to his top order batsmen. Sri Lanka has a top class batting line up. This was evident at Ahmadabad when the Sri Lankans made 742 runs in their first essay.
The batting at Kanpur lacked the much needed application. MS Dhoni the Indian skipper admitted that winning the toss was vital. We fully agree with his statement; however India must be given all the credit for their sterling performance with both bat and ball. To score 417 runs on day one goes to prove that India posses one of the strongest batting line up in world cricket. Sri Lanka on the other hand should have been more disciplined in their bowling. Former Indian skipper Saurav Ganguly made a pertinent point when he stated that it is a luxury to pursue with three spinners on Indian pitches. Saurav is of the view that the 3rd spinner will not give you anything extra in India. The other important fact that Saurav did state was opening the bowling with Angelo Mathews proved fatal from a Sri Lankan perspective.
What would be the ideal combination for Sri Lanka in Mumbai? The pitch at the CCS stadium in Mumbai will help pace bowlers; Dilhara Fernando will be a good option because he can get extra bounce. Sri Lanka will also depend on Muralitheran playing his last overseas test to come up with the goods. Murali will obviously need support from the other end. Mendis is a class act, despite the fact that he has lost a bit of accuracy and is a victim of computers that aid the opposition to work him out better. I was encouraged note saurav Ganguly’s views on Mendis in which he has stated that Ajantha will bounce back to his wicket taking ways. Saurav also adds that all bowlers go thru a bad patch time and again during in their career. Mendis must bowl as much as possible in the nets and work a bit extra to get back his accuracy.
The Mumbai test will be interesting. Let’s hope the pitch will be different to Amedabad and Kanpur.If the fast bowlers get into the act it will be great, if the curator prepares a flat track , Sri Lanka will find it hard to square the series.
Do join us on the 2nd of December for the second and final test .