So India won the Test series 2-0 against Sri Lanka and they went top of the ICC Test Rankings. That's 124 points for you, two ahead of South Africa. Sri Lanka find themselves in fourth spot as they pushed Australia to number three. These are but conclusions for the computers in the ICC offices.
For some one watching from outside, the biggest realization ought to be that we are living in the age of Virender Sehwag. Rahul Dravid score his century in Ahmedabad at a strike rate of around seventy made one surmise it to be the age of Twenty20; the shortest format’s high scoring rates now reflected onto the five day game. But then Viru took centre stage. His century at
As if he missed out in
Sehwag’s aggressive streak is but one aspect of the Indian batting. The other part, and quite pleasing one at that, is the team’s ability to fight it out when in jail. Any one remember the days when the opposition would have the best batsmen in the world bat out nearly six sessions, and then, they would go into their shell only to be bowled out for meager totals and hand back the series. Two instances come to mind straight-away:
That chink in the armory of the Indian team is gone as of now. Chennai 2008 against South Africa, Bangalore 2008 against Australia, Napier 2009 against New Zealand and now at Ahmedabad against Sri Lanka; the team have come a long way since the infamous Sydney collapse on the Australian tour in 2007-08. And the one man common to most of these fight backs has been Gautam Gambhir. A good start in such a situation almost always takes the pressure off the latter batsmen, something which never happened in the past. God bless the Indian openers, would be the thought of the average cricket fan here.
Jayasuriya didn’t participate in the Tests but he is here to play the ODIs and the T20s. Last time he figured in those, he didn’t have a very good time and questions were raised about his place in the side as well. Combined together, these two form a potent pairing which was instrumental in their winning the 1996 World Cup, also played in the Indian sub-continent. If these two go out of reckoning now, the Lankans would have to re-draw their blueprints all over again and their time starts now, with the series against
(The columnist is a sports writer and Mobile ESPN cricket commentator based in New