In my previous preview, I pictured a situation in which India won the toss and elected to bat.
But reality has a nasty habit of interfering with such nicely laid plans, and in fact, Sri Lanka have won the toss and are batting first.
There’s only one surprise in the selection of teams, Mithun makes his debut for India, which means Munaf can visit Colombo’s shopping malls, today.
Sri Lanka have opted to drop P Jayawardene for a fifth bowlers, with Herath preferred to Randiv. Which is not a bad decision as orthodox left arm spinners are a rare breed, and have the inherent ability to take wickets — ask Vettori.
Which is why it’s a pity that the likes of Ojha and Mishra getc chosen ahead of Murli Karthik, who won a MOM award in a test against Australia and never played a test match again.
Here then is the new blueprint for Dhoni to use to win the match, batting second.
Bowl Lanka out latest by lunch on the second day. Keep their score down to as little as you can, but not exceeding 400 in any case.
India need to bat five sessions, and score at a fair rate. This plan will work best if Sehwag clicks at the top and Dhoni lower down.
Lanka should begin their second innings on the morning of the fourth day. They could be looking at an Indian lead that’s upwards of 175. Assuming that India don’t allow the Lankan innings to prolong beyond 4 sessions, we could be looking at a sub-200 target, to be got in 2 sessions.
Am I the only one, or do you also think this plan doesn’t sound as exciting as the first? The reason is not hard to find. When you bat first you have the psychological advantage of a huge score put on the board, and some more p.a. when you enforce the follow on. But optimism dies hard.
Meanwhile, Mithun has done the unthinkable. Even as I type this, he has taken his first test wicket, that of Dishan, caught behind. Sri Lanka 55/1. Shall we say, 355 all out?
About the Author (Author Profile)
Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.