Can India break the jinx against Sri Lanka?

first_imgIt’s been 23 years since India won a Test series in Sri Lanka. India, being one of the dominant forces in Test cricket, have somehow managed to flounder against Sri Lanka.Except veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh and leader of Indian pace attack Ishant Sharma, none of the men in the current Indian squad have played in Sri Lanka before. The young Indian team are set to face an uphill task and a worrying fact is that they have played just one away Test series this year.After a horrendous series in Australia in which they were thrashed 2-0, India’s ODI captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni announced his retirement, handling over the responsibility to Virat Kohli.Now, India have slipped to fifth in the Test rankings and are below Pakistan. It will be an important Test series for team India as they would not like to slip down the ladder.Virat Kohli, in his first full-fledged assignment as captain of the Indian Test team, would look to improve team India’s record in the island nation.Lets look back at India’s record in Sri Lanka from 2001 to 20102001: Sri Lanka won the series 2-1Sourav Ganguly lead Indian team arrived in Sri Lanka. The first Test was played at Galle where India were bundled out for 187 runs in the first innings and 180 runs in the second innings. Fernando and Muttiah Muralitharan rattled the Indian batting line up by taking five for in each innings.India tasted victory in the second Test at Kandy, thanks to Venkatesh Prasad who scalped 7 wickets to make the Lankan batting line up surrender against India. Not long after the Sri Lankans let Indians celebrate their victory at Kandi, they bounced back in the third Test at Colombo.advertisementSri Lanka posted a mammoth score of 610 runs with four of their countrymen scoring big centuries, India once again had no clue to Sri Lanka’s bowling and were all out for 234 runs in the first innings and 299 runs the in second innings, Sri Lanka won by an innings and 77 runs and scalped the series 2-1. Also read: India vs Sri Lanka: Key battles to watch out for 2008: Mendis magicAnil Kumble was handled over the responsibility of leading India. Mystery bowler Ajantha Mendis made his debut. Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first and posted a massive first innings score of 600 runs with Malinda Warnapura, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Thilan Samaraweera scoring centuries. India were all out for 223 runs in the first innings and were bundled out for 138 runs in the second innings with Muttiah Muralitharan scalping 11 wickets handing the hosts a formidable innings and 239 run victory.India won the second Test at Galle, India’s Virender Sehwag scored a double century to give the host nation a taste of their own medicine. Sehwag thrashed the Sri Lanka’s spin duo Muralitharan and Mendis all over the park. If it was Sehwag with the bat, then it was Harbhajan Singh with the ball, the off-spinner scalped 10 wickets to bundle out Sri Lanka for 136 runs in the second innings.The third Test at Colombo was another Sri Lankan show. The match witnessed a stellar performance from Kumar Sangakkara who scored 144 runs and won it for Sri Lanka, while Mendis who made his Test debut in the series against India won the man of the series for his 26 wickets in the series.2010: India drew the series 1-1MS Dhoni took charge and led the Indian team to Sri Lanka. The first Test was played at Galle. It was once again Sangakkara’s show where he scored a handsome century which helped Sri Lanka to score 520 runs in the first innings, India in reply scored 276 runs in the first innings and 338 runs in the second innings.Eventually, Muralitharan went on to scalp his record breaking 800th Test wicket when he dismissed Pragyan Ojha. Sri Lanka won the match by 10 wickets. The Indian team played their next match at Colombo where Sri Lanka posted a mammoth 642 on the board with Sangakkara and Jayawardene having a 192-run stand. In reply, India’s master batsman Sachin Tendulkar scored his fifth double century helping India to post 707 runs. A debut century from Suresh Raina and a half-century from Dhoni helped India stretch the lead. The series ended in a draw.India played their third match at Colombo. Sri Lanka posted 425 runs in the first innings. In reply India scored 436 runs, once again it was Virender Sehwag in the first innings who scored a century and it was Laxman’s century in the second innings which helped India to beat Sri Lanka by 5 wickets.advertisementOn a positive note, with India’s new Test captain Virat Kohli at the helm, it is an exciting challenge to start together as a new unit. The series will be a perfect opportunity for Kohli to execute his plans and end the 23-year-old jinx.last_img

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