Indian bowlers should avoid trying too hard
VVS LAXMAN MEMORIES of the 3-0 drubbing in their own backyard just a couple of months back must have come flooding back to Sri Lankan minds as they set foot on Indian soil last week for the multi-format tour starting with the first Test in Kolkata from Thursday. Dinesh Chandimal’s men will be aware of how formidable this Indian team is and therefore know what lies ahead of them, but they will derive plenty of confidence from having subsequently defeated Pakistan 2-0 in the UAE. That, coupled with the return of Angelo Mathews, will give them a great deal of heart, though they will need to be at their very best if they are to upset India’s applecart.
Having seen the ruthlessness and total focus with ed-overs matches in recent times, the core bowling group of Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will be raring to go. All of them have played in the Ranji Trophy and have sharpened their skills, but the one thing they must guard against is overtrying and looking to make a statement. They are all proven performers at the top of their respective games and, so long as they stick to the basics, they will be perfectly fine.
India have a couple of tricky selection choices to make. Since it was re-laid a year and a half or so back, the Eden surface has assisted the quicker bowlers more than it has the spinners, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up a five-for in India’s last Test there, against New Zealand. With Hardik Pandya rested, does the think-tank stick with the five-bowler option with Bhuvi as the fifth component,