Impressed with India’s aggressive brand of cricket in the two Test matches so far, former Sri Lanka pacer Chaminda Vaas on Tuesday said that the five-bowler theory is reaping rich results for the young visiting side.
Trailing the three-match series, India came from behind to humble the islanders by 278 runs and deny Kumar Sangakkara a fairytale ending in his swansong as the visitors drew level the rubber at 1-1. Vaas said the Indian unit has played good cricket to turn it around.
“It is good that India are playing aggressive cricket. All good sides do, especially when they play with five bowlers. They are rebuilding under Virat Kohli and I like their aggressive brand of cricket,” said Vaas.
“At Galle, they got bogged down after the match turned against them. But they didn’t let that happen again. Sri Lanka will have to play very good cricket to try to beat them again,” he added.
If Ishant Sharma gave India the crucial breakthroughs at the P Sara Oval then it was Amit Mishra (4-43 in the first innings) and Ravichandran Ashwin (5-42 in the second innings) who really turned it around for the visitors. Vaas praised India on persisting with their five-bowler theory after the first loss.
“Playing five bowlers gives a certain balance to the teams. But that is not always possible. Then different combinations are tried out. There may not be proper all-rounders in there, but all good sides have players who can perform dual roles,” said Vaas.
“For Sri Lanka, Kumar Sangakkara was an all-rounder, keeping wickets and performing with the bat as well. That allowed us to play an extra batsman or bowler for many years when he used to do both those roles,” he added.
If India faltered in their tricky chase during the first Test then Sri Lanka caved in while chasing a mammoth 413-run target. Vaas said that indifferent targets are difficult to chase in the final innings of a Test.
“Batsmen tend to struggle in fourth innings whenever they are facing indifferent targets. It was a high total for Sri Lanka and they couldn’t cope with it. Something similar happened with India in Galle too. They were just chasing 176, a very small total, but they got bogged down and paid the price,” he said.