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Session-dashboard - Tracking Test Matches as they progress.
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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Sri Lanka series - amazing turnaround for hosts

The Indians started the test well - winning probably five of the first six sessions of the day. But, over the next five, they probably shared one session - overpowered by the performances of Chandimal and Herath with the bat and ball.

The match should have put the Indian management under dilemma regarding its five-bowler theory, especially when they have batsmen out of form (Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli to an extent) and bowlers out of touch (Harbhajan Singh and Varun Aaron). When the rest of the batsmen and bowlers do not put their hands up to backup the others, the performance was not good enough.

Ashwin and Mishra were the architects of the bowling performance in the first innings (Ishant and Aaron had provided the support in the beginning) while Dhawan and Kohli scored centuries to take India to a big lead. The middle and latter order batsmen did not contribute much to take the lead to an unbeatable one (except Saha to an extent).

The umpiring was also to be blamed for India's decline - two decisions went against them (those of Thirumanne and more importantly Chandimal) that could have finished the match on Day 3. The saga of poor umpiring in Lanka against India is not a recent trend - despite independent umpires, the tragedy continues.

What should the Indians do next? Return back to four good bowlers instead of five decent ones - Ishant, Ashwin and Mishra should continue while the fourth bowler should be Bhuvi - despite his lack of pace, the bowler can hod his line and length and restrain the scoring rate. This was something the bowlers failed to do in the second innings.

The fourth innings was the most tragic one - the Indians could not face the Lankan bowling spearheaded by Rangana Herath. The Indians showed that their performance in the first innings was an exception thanks to the heroics of Dhawan and Kohli.

What should standout from this match was the catching of both teams - it was tremendous to see the catches and Rahane was exceptional to catch eight in the match.
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