West Indies tri-series 2013: Match 3 – India vs SL – The Quick Flicks

Sri Lankan players congratulate each other after a huge victory over India

When Sri Lanka meet India in a one day international, the buzz and the excitement is sorely missed. Cricket-obsessed fans don’t necessarily make a beeline for entry into the stadium either.

The reason is just that both countries have played against each other about a trillion times in the last few years, and that has resulted in fans losing interest in the fixture. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if one day, a match between India and Sri Lanka is held on Mount Roraima – located on the triple border point of Brazil, Venezuela and Guyana.

In yesterday’s encounter, played between Sri Lanka and India, the men from Emerald Isles took sweet revenge for the loss in the Champions Trophy semifinal with a thumping win.

Here’re some snapshots from yesterday’s game:

Reminiscing the bygone era of lightning fast tracks at Jamaica

Just like great fast bowlers from the West Indies, those lightning fast tracks in the Caribbean region too have become extinct. There was a time when the track at Sabina Park was known for pace and bounce. Who can forget all those towering giants from the Caribbean making batsmen look like a cat on the hot tin roof on a trampoline wicket at Sabina Park. The sad part is that tracks in the Caribbean have lost their bite uniqueness.

India gets a taste of its own medicine

Over the years, Indian batsmen have put many opposition attacks to the sword. Yesterday, they got a taste of their own medicine, as the Sri Lankan duo of Jayawardene and Tharanga smashed a listless Indian bowling line-up to smithereens.

There must have been immense pressure on Tharanga, as he is on a comeback trail, but he played a mature innings. Tharanga looked to play himself-in before unleashing his wide array of strokes. It is always a proud moment for any opener to carry his bat throughout the innings.

Those jaw-dropping shots he played over the mid-wicket region against Indian pacers, in the end overs, would make it into any highlights show.

In his one-day career, he has shown the uncanny ability of forging big century partnerships for the opening wicket. One can vividly remember him, and the marauding Jayasuriya tearing apart England’s bowling attack in ’06. Yet, he has not found a regular place in the Sri Lankan set-up.

On the other end of the spectrum, Jayawardene, the elegance personified, played with finesse and flair. Yesterday, the way Mahela, with some twinkling footwork, played crisply lofted shots against quicks, and then used the pace of Ishant Sharma to deftly guide the slightly older ball past the third man, showed us that he can play strokes in a 360 degree-arc. When Mahela bats, it seems like a google map of field placements has been fitted in his brain.

Proud moment for Kohli

The thumping defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka wouldn’t have pleased Kohli one bit. But it must have been a proud moment for him when he walked into the middle for the toss, as the captain of the side. Though he had a disastrous start to his captaincy stint, he would hope that the faith is kept in him for future matches too by the team management.

Butter-fingers

The high point of India’s Champions trophy campaign was the brilliant fielding. But in the game against Sri Lanka, catches of Tharanga and Jayawerdene were dropped. Next time, Vijay and Yadav take the field, they should remember the old adage of ‘catches win you matches.’

The conundrum of Vijay’s batting position

As India’s think-tank is happy with the way Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have played at top of the order, it resulted in the replacement player for Dhoni, Vijay batting at 3. The problem with Vijay batting at 3 is, Kohli has to bat down the order. In shorter formats of the game, the best players generally bat at top of the order. So, India’s think-tank should have a  rethink of Kohli’s batting position.

Are Indian players still stuck in Heathrow airport?

After the high of winning the prestigious ICC Champions trophy, it can be tough to play in yet another of those tri-series. But that shouldn’t be an excuse for the deflated performance put up by the Indian team in the tri-series in West Indies.

Up against Sri Lanka, India’s bowling was pedestrian, and batsmen just caved-in under pressure. It seems like Indian cricketers are suffering from the hangover of winning the Champions Trophy, and hadn’t yet left the Heathrow airport in London.

It won’t be unfair to say that instead of watching Indian batsmen capitulate while chasing a  mammoth total, those few who made it into the stadium, could have spent their time better by visiting popular tourist destinations like Dunn’s river or Black River Safari in Jamaica.

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