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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Galle Test - Sri Lanka take opening day honors

India has seldom won the opening day honors on an overseas test match - today was no different. After a long time, the opening attack had no left-arm bowler with the new ball.

Did that make a difference? Definitely. India missed the services of Zaheer Khan, not just as a bowler but also as a mentor to the young Ishant Sharma. Ishant bowled well very rarely in the midst of a flurry of boundary balls. Mithun was much better in his spell in the day, getting the wicket of Dilshan early. Few half-chances were missed - resulting in the large total at the end of the day. Pragyan Ojha was able to extract quite a bit of turn on the first-day track - indications of how Murali will play his 'tricks' later in the test - 800 wickets does not seem far away now. Harbhajan seems to have hurt his hamstring, which will impact the bowling to an extent. Sehwag bowled well in his limited capacity but that will not be enough.

Once the toss was won, it was a matter of putting a large total in the first innings of the match. Sri Lanka have done that so far and all evidence points to a dominant performance with the bat. How Indian batsmen (whenever they get a chance) will reply, will determine the result of the match. Of course, if weather permits, that is.

MS Dhoni must go back in time and bring out his tricks that he tried against the Aussies (bowling to a packed offside field of 8-1) and inducing mistakes from the batsmen. So far, the first day sees the session dashboard 3-0 in favor of Sri Lanka - all sessions won by the home team.
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