Home > Features >

India should learn from Sri Lanka’s fighting spirit before England series

India will take heart in Sri Lanka's strong display © Getty Images
India will take heart in Sri Lanka’s strong display © Getty Images

Sri Lanka’s tenacity is a great example for India as they prepare to face England in a five-Test series, writes Nishad Pai Vaidya.

Sri Lanka were almost denied a historic victory by some stubborn resistance from James Anderson and Moeen Ali. Yet, at the stroke of stumps, Shaminda Eranga was rewarded for his persistence when Anderson was stunned by a short one to hand Sri Lanka the series. Even as the 10th wicket partnership kept Sri Lanka at bay, the tourists did not lose hope and kept battling, maintaining the same intensity and showing that very hope of victory. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Indian team would do well to learn from their neighbours when they face England a few weeks down the line.

As Alastair Cook said after the match, England had dominated for a better part of the two games. However, Sri Lanka hit back when it mattered and that helped them seal the deal. Look at the scorecards of both games. In the first Test, the visitors showed copious tenacity to hold on for a draw and even though England had the better of them, Sri Lanka didn’t look out of the game. In the second Test, England were in command during their first innings and were in with a good chance when they had four Sri Lankan wickets at the end of Day Three with the visitors only around 106 ahead.

It was due to Sri Lanka’s character that England lost out on those crucial moments. Angelo Mathews’ men showed self-belief and hope in the face of odds. Their body language was good and they approached the task with a very positive mindset even when the chips were seemingly down. India will now reflect on Sri Lanka’s success and would pick up many points. Obviously, they will study the way they outsmarted England, but they also need to take inspiration from Sri Lanka’s character.

During the last few months, India have lost the advantage in a couple of Tests as they couldn’t cash in on key moments. At Johannesburg late last year, they let AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis build a partnership that nearly won South Africa the game. But an even more compelling example would be the Wellington Test against New Zealand this year, where they had the Kiwis on the mat before Brendon McCullum and BJ Watling fashioned a remarkable comeback. There again, they did not finish the game when they had the chance to do so.

The lack of finishing touch is what haunted India on those overseas assignments, and here they have an example before them of how to get the job done and face England. This could be a good chance for India to perform well in the Tests given the fact that the hosts are down on several counts. Having said that, India need to finish games and be ruthless in their approach. It is something Dhoni should impress upon his troops as they prepare for the series.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Pakistan hold advantage at stumps on Day 3 of 1st Test against Australia

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

David Warner feels lucky to have equalled Don Bradman’s record

Kapil Dev’s Dev Musco Lighting accused of inflated costs by GCA

VVS Laxman advises budding batsmen to score big hundreds

Pakistan hold advantage at stumps on Day 3 of 1st Test against Australia

West Indies women not distracted by controversy in men’s team

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Spin hunt continues for visitors

Sarfaraz Ahmed may have trumped the Akmals as Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman across formats

Don Bradman — even if every chance he ever gave in his career was accepted, he would still remain head and shoulders above the others

Len Hutton’s hundred gets reported as illness

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here