India's Premier Lifestyle Destination For Men.


India Flatten Sri Lanka Again – What We Learned

Indian team players pose with the Paytm Trophy as India beat Sri Lanka by 238 runs on the 3rd day of the second test match between India and Sri Lanka, at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, in Bengaluru on Monday. India won the series 2-0.
A A A tT

Team India ended their 2022 home season without tasting a single defeat as Rohit Sharma’s side comfortably outplayed Sri Lanka to complete a straightforward 2-0 series victory in the Test matches. Although the level of opposition was not the best, the Indian Test team performed close to their highest potential in this series, and here is what we learned from the two-Test match victories in Mohali and Bengaluru.

1. The Rishabh Revolution continues


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Team India (@indiancricketteam)

With Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane phased out of the Indian Test team after the defeat to South Africa, Rishabh Pant earned a deserved promotion in the batting line-up, jumping up to take Rahane’s place at number five against Sri Lanka. While Pant’s promotion is a necessary tactic from India to break the sequence of four right-handers at the top of the order, it is also a recognised reward for his performances, with Pant scoring runs consistently across conditions in whites.

Pant’s ascent in Test match cricket has been full of ups and downs, but the wicketkeeper-batsman is now playing with unbridled confidence, with the left-hander possessing the unique ability to change a Test match in a session. Pant scored 185 runs in the Test series Sri Lanka at a mind-boggling strike rate of 120, and in each of his three innings, he altered the status quo of the game, demolishing Sri Lankan spinners as if they were third-grade cricketers on a pitch where most batters struggled.

With this performance, Pant is the first Indian wicketkeeper to win a man of the series award and has now also bumped his Test match average up to 40.85 at a strike rate of 70.46, making him only one of five cricketers alongside Vivian Richards, Adam Gilchrist, David Warner and Virender Sehwag to achieve this feat.

2. Jadeja and Ashwin remain the beating heart of the Indian Test Team


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Team India (@indiancricketteam)

Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer all enjoyed an excellent series against Sri Lanka, but once again the beating heart of the Indian set-up in home conditions were the two all-round lynchpins, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin.

Powered by his performance in Mohali, Jadeja finished the series as the highest run-scorer (201 runs) and third-highest wicket-taker (10 wickets), adding enviable balance to the Indian Test team at number seven while also running through the opposition batting line-ups with his metronomic left-arm spin.

His partner in crime, Ravichandran Ashwin, created history in the Sri Lanka series as he passed Sir Richard Hadlee, Rangana Herath, Kapil Dev and Dale Steyn to go to number eight on the all-time wicket-takers list. Ashwin now has 442 wickets in 86 Test matches, and more impressively, of the seven bowlers ahead of him in the overall list, the off-spinner has a better bowling average than five of them and more centuries (five) than the rest combined (two).

3. Iyer and Vihari impress on second debuts


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Team India (@indiancricketteam)

The Sri Lanka series was the first time in nearly a decade that the Men in Blue played a Test match on home turf with neither Cheteshwar Pujara nor Ajinkya Rahane in the playing XI. The veteran batters were dropped from the side in the wake of the series defeat in South Africa, following a poor run of form over the past few years. 

Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer were the two elected to replace the senior statesmen in the batting line-up, and while Rohit Sharma’s side did play a mediocre Sri Lankan outfit, Team India didn’t feel the absence of Pujara or Rahane in the playing XI. Vihari occupied the number three spot as Pujara’s successor, and the Hyderabad batter was predictably solid at the crease, making two impressive 30s on a challenging Bangalore wicket and remaining unfazed against pace or spin. Most of Vihari’s heavy lifting as a number three will come when the Indian Test Team goes on its travels, but for a first outing, it was commendable.

Shreyas Iyer, on the other hand, impressed even further. The 27-year-old scored two half-centuries in the Bangalore Test match and demolished the Sri Lankan spinners in a way that Ajinkya Rahane struggled to do throughout his career. Across both innings, Iyer looked the most comfortable batter from either side on one of the most challenging surfaces India has produced over the past five years, and the Mumbai batter couldn’t have asked for a better start to his Test match career with four 50+ scores in his first seven innings.

Tougher tests will come for both these batters as the Men in Blue move away from the comfort of the subcontinent, but considering the pedigree of players they are replacing in the side, Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid couldn’t have asked for much more from the newcomers.


[Featured Image Credit: ANI]