Team India continued their domination over Sri Lanka and took a 1-0 lead in the three-match Test series after crushing the Islanders by an innings and 239 runs to register their joint biggest victory in Test cricket. The hosts thoroughly outplayed the visitors in all three departments of the game and it the Sri Lankans were left clueless. On a pitch which was conducive to batting, Sri Lanka kept losing wickets at regular intervals despite the pitch not offering much to the bowlers.
The Indian bowlers were sensational on an opening day with comeback man Ishant Sharma being the standout bowler. He bowled in exceptional lines and troubled the Sri Lankan batsmen on a consistent basis. The way he kept on persisting bowling the same line showed that he is still capable of troubling batting line-ups despite not being at his peak.
In the absence of Mohammed Shami, Ishant got the opportunity to make a comeback, and he grabbed his opportunity with both hands. He finished with impressive figures of 3/37 as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 204. Another comeback man Murali Vijay who replaced Shikhar Dhawan also grabbed his opportunity with both hands and went on to smash his 10th Test century.
Cheteshwar Pujara and yet another comeback man Rohit Sharma also scored centuries, but the top scorer was the skipper Virat Kohli with his 5th double ton. India eventually declared their innings on 610 and then skittled out the visitors for 166 in the 2nd innings to register a colossal victory. Ashwin was the pick of the Indian bowlers with four wickets while Ishant also chipped in with a couple.
Skipper Virat Kohli in the post-match presentation lauded Ishant Sharma for his heroics and despite not taking anything away from the spinners conceded the fact that the lanky speedster was the standout bowler for India in Tests. Popular commentator and a TV Presenter Harsha Bhogle was also of the same opinion and voiced the same via his twitter handle.
“While India will be happy with the runs from Murali Vijay, the biggest return from this game is the bowling of Ishant Sharma,” Harsha wrote.
Ishant will look to follow this up with an impressive showing in his home ground which will keep him in good stead ahead of the much awaited South African tour scheduled to start from 5th January 2018.
While India will be happy with the runs from Murali Vijay, the biggest return from this game is the bowling of Ishant Sharma
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) November 27, 2017