Dinesh Chandimal was the highest scorer from the Sri Lankan camp    AFP
Dinesh Chandimal was the highest scorer from the Sri Lankan camp AFP

Sri Lanka committed the cardinal sin of not putting up a big total in the first innings of the Nagpur Test. They won the toss, were shot out for 205 on a good surface, and were immediately subjected to a humiliating leather-hunt. India made optimal use of the wicket, posting 610 for 6, thus taking a 405-run lead. The match was sealed.

Sri Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal lamented about the first-innings performance in an interview with Cricbuzz: There s no excuse if you can t make 400 runs in the first innings. You can t compete against any team without a decent first innings total. We are playing world s best-ranked team. We won the toss and the best conditions in a Test match are the first three days. We spoke of the need to take the game to the final day. That s the only way to let the opposition panic and put pressure on them.

Sri Lanka have suffered epic collapses in recent times. They were seven down in a session in the first Test against India at Kolkata before fading light helped their cause. On Day Four at Nagpur, they started with 21 for 1. They collapsed to 107 for 8 in a session before being bowled out for 166.

Horrendous execution

We know that they are playing only four bowlers. If we could have taken their bowlers into the third spell, they will be in trouble because they miss that fifth bowler. They are also human and fatigue will take to them. That was our plan but the execution was horrendous, Chandimal added.

The innings-and-239-run loss at Nagpur is Sri Lanka s worst. Chandimal, who top-scored in both innings with 57 and 61, is gutted as the captain.

I am really disappointed as captain. We talk a lot of these things at team meetings and stuff. But when we go out to the middle, we fail to execute them. We have experience and there are some good young players, but we fail to get into good form.

Virat Kohli continues to pile up records with 19th Test hundred
Virat Kohli continues to pile up records with 19th Test hundred

Test cricket is much to do with temperament. You can t play Test cricket like you play ODI and T20 cricket. In Tests, you get a variety of situations. We can not get away by saying that we need to play our natural game. Sometimes according to conditions and situations you need to adapt and if you don t do that, it will be tough for us.

Chandimal hoped that Sri Lanka would replicate their success against Pakistan at UAE in India too. With a Test to go, the best Sri Lanka can do is to win at Delhi and level the series. At this point of time, that result looks highly unlikely.