India didn’t start the series as well as one would have expected after having the match in their pocket for first three days. India, who almost dominated in most parts of the game, completely lost it on day 3 and 4. India handed over the match to the hosts and suffered 63 run defeat chasing just a modest target of 175 with so much of time left in the Test.
Let’s analyse the five things which India need to do to win the second Test:
5. Opening batsman should provide a good start:
The absence of Murali Vijay is apparently a huge blow for the Indian side as the openers failed to put on a partnership. However, Shikhar Dhawan made use of the opportunity scoring a century in the first innings but couldn’t take India home in the second innings as he, unfortunately, suffered a blow to his hand. The failure came at the other end as KL Rahul didn’t make any contribution and got out cheaply for single figure scores in both the innings. The chances of Murali Vijay making the side in the second Test seems very bleak at the moment and KL Rahul needs to fire at the top of the order to provide a good start for India. Also, the breaking news just came in that Dhawan has been ruled out for the series which will increase responsibility of Rahul.
4. Promoting Ajinkiya Rahane up the order:
Ajinkya Rahane who has been a formidable Test batsman for India over the past few years and it is pretty evident with his overseas performances. Cementing his spot as a proper no.5 batsman, he can also be elevated up the order to seek better results for the Indian team as they are struggling with no.3 slot in Tests.
3. Rohit Sharma’s role in the team:
Rohit Sharma who is finding it difficult to establish in Test matches has to swap positions in the playing eleven. Kohli recently has restored his faith on the Mumbai batsman saying that he is a key member in the team. However, Rohit Sharma doesn’t seem to be a proper option as a no.3 batsman. Sending him down the order seems to be a good option for India as his technique is getting exposed badly as a no.3 batsman.
2. Re-assessing five bowler theory:
India’s five bowler theory didn’t worked out very well as one would have expected. R.Ashwin remained the only tormentor to the hosts. The selection of Harbhajan Singh in the side was pointless as he hardly had any effect on the opposition. With spinners, Mishra and Ashwin looking threatening, going in with four bowlers along with pacers Aaron and Ishant in the second Test match will be beneficial for the Indian side. In sub-continent conditions going in with four bowlers is pretty much effective as spinners does most of the damage.
1. No room for complacency:
India, in their first match, let the match slip out of their hands. Having the match under their control they choked big time and fell into a shell in their second innings. India took things lightly after picking up early wickets in the Sri Lankan innings and allowed the middle and lower middle order to settle down and in the end it proved to be costly courtesy of Dinesh Chandimal’s excellent century. Although the target of 175 seemed modest, India were complacent in their chase and went into a shell losing wickets in quick successions playing poor shots. One poor session costed the match for the visitors. India, certainly can’t afford to be complacent in the second Test and they can learn from their previous mistake in the first Test and should focus on each session carefully.