Traditionally, Galle has not been a happy hunting venue for the Indian team. Before commencing their ongoing assignment at this picturesque ground, they had lost three out of their four previous Test matches over here. However, this time tide has been in the favour of Virat Kohli and Co. as by the end of second day’s play, India have reached a dominating position in this match.
And it is their batting, which has set the tone.
On Thursday, India, for the first time, touched the 600-run mark on Sri Lankan soil. Interestingly, it was their fifth score of 600 or more in last eight Tests. This record shows the fire-power, this current Indian batting line-up has.
However, the talking point of the day has certainly been the batting capabilities, which India’s bottom five batsmen have shown.
Umesh Yadav was India’s No. 11 batsman and he has a First-Class hundred to his name — this will provide you an idea about the batting prowess of the last five batsmen of this team.
Meanwhile, in the last couple of years, there has been a significant improvement in the contributions of India’s so-called tail, in the five-day format. Having utility all-rounders like Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jayant Yadav in the frame of schemes along with the batting abilities of Wriddhiman Saha, India lower-order has become more dependable than ever. Now, the inclusion of Hardik Pandya will boost it further.
“He’s a very good all-rounder. When it comes to his batting, he is trusting his strengths. The way he was batting, I think that is the way he should be batting going ahead. It was the right situation for him,” praising the skills of the debutant Pandya, Cheteshwar Pujara mentioned at the end of Day Two.
“I think he could dominate the bowlers, play his shots and especially when he is playing with the tail-enders, that’s the way he should be playing. And he has showcased that even at the highest level. Being an all-rounder, it always helps for the team because we need someone who can bowl ten overs in a day if there is an opportunity. So, someone like him who can bat well and give us 8-10 overs in a day, he is the perfect all-rounder for us,” he added.
In modern day cricket, having depth in the batting is the need of the hour. Those extra few runs often turn out to be deciding factor in the game, especially in Test match cricket.
Well, India made the full use of the skills of their lower-order batting.
The visitors lost both their overnight batsmen, Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, inside 12 overs of the morning. But still, they ended up scoring 168 runs, with their bottom five batters, courtesy to a classy 47 of Ashwin, a maiden half-century by Pandya and a handy run-a-ball 30 by Mohammed Shami.
There were two half-century partnerships in the lower-order. First Ashwin stuck together with Saha for a 59-run stand for the sixth wicket and then came the entertaining 62-run partnership between Pandya and Shami for the ninth wicket.
Thanks to these gutsy contributions, one can say that India have probably batted Sri Lanka out of this Test match.