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

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 4, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Leeds

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Kingstown, St Vincent

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014  at Harare

Zimbabwe won by 3 wkts

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Dambulla

SL won by 7 wkts (D/L method)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Nottingham

India won by 6 wkts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 61 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Photos

Australia vs Zimbabwe, ODI tri-series at Harare

Videos

Misbah disppointed with Pakistan's performance

India vs England 2014, 4th ODI at Edgbaston: Key Battles

India vs England 4th ODI at Birmingham: India’s likely XI

Ishant Sharma: 10 facts you need to know about the towering Indian paceman

India vs England 4th ODI at Birmingham: England likely XI

Supreme Court refuses to reinstate N Srinivasan as BCCI president

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 Australia vs Zimbabwe England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014 Zimbabwe vs Australia

Varun Aaron starts training under Glenn McGrath at MRF Pace Foundation

Live Streaming Australia vs South Africa 5th ODI at Harare: Zimbabwe Tri Series 2014

Live Cricket Score Australia vs South Africa 5th ODI at Harare: Zimbabwe Tri Series 2014

Live Scorecard Australia vs South Africa 5th ODI at Harare: Zimbabwe Tri Series 2014

Usain Bolt, Yuvraj Singh to clash in exhibition match

Australia vs South Africa, 4th ODI at Harare: Key Clashes

Tom Groube: First New Zealand-born cricketer to play a Test

India tour of England 2014: Shikhar Dhawan may be an innings away from getting back into form

India vs England 2014, 4th ODI at Edgbaston: Key Battles

India vs England 4th ODI at Birmingham: India’s likely XI

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

668 Posts | 6 Fans

Yuvraj Singh's ton against MCC

Is Ranbir Kapoor worried about Katrina Kaif’s healh issues?

India vs England 4th ODI at Edgbaston: Eoin Morgan faces Merlyn bowling machine

India vs England 4th ODI at Birmingham: Ravichandran Ashwin credits hard work for success

Ebola in India: First suspected Ebola case in West Bengal

International programme in Animal Husbandry

European Union questions Facebook-WhatsApp $19 billion deal

How to maintain coloured hair

Why did Akshay Kumar ask Sayantani Ghosh to meet him after the shoot?

China landslide: 8 killed, 24 missing after rainstorms

NGOs pursue education for all

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here