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)

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Colombo

Match drawn

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

Photos

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test

Videos

Highlights of Phil Hughes' double ton

James Anderson: The Burnley Express turns 32

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: India still have a chance to draw

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: India’s sloppy batting and other highlights of play on Day 3

Moeen Ali’s ‘Save Gaza’ wristband suspension: Cricket and political sentiments don’t mix

Denesh Ramdin: Didn’t expect Sunil Narine to bowl Super Over maiden

Alastair Cook England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 South Africa vs Sri Lanka South Africa vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014

Watch Free Live Streaming Online: England vs India, 3rd Test, Day 4 at Southampton

Big Bash League 2014-15: Manuka Oval, Canberra to host final

Live Scorecard: India vs England, 3rd Test, Day 4 at Southampton

Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane’s wickets crucial in context of 3rd Test at Southampton: Andrew Strauss

Live Cricket Score: England vs India 3rd Test, Day 3 at Southampton

Why Mahabharata was the first-ever timeless Test!

MS Dhoni should take heart from Kapil Dev’s heroics of 1990 to help India avoid follow on

James Anderson: The Burnley Express turns 32

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: India still have a chance to draw

Moeen Ali – the part-timer keeps pegging India back with crucial wickets

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Xiaomi Mi Power Bank 10,400mAh and 5,200mAh listed on Flipkart, priced at Rs 999 and Rs 799 respectively

Prevent Diabetes Tip – get regular health check-ups

Shraddha Kapoor injured while training for ABCD 2!

Rafael to miss rest of Man Utd’s tour of the USA with groin injury

Panasonic Eluga U Android KitKat smartphone launched in India priced at Rs 18,990

Big Bash League 2014-15: Manuka Oval, Canberra to host final

Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 7: Kushal Punjabi eliminated!

Live Scorecard: India vs England, 3rd Test, Day 4 at Southampton

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here