There have been past instances of Test matches getting over inside three days in bowler-friendly conditions. But the Sri Lankan team’s defeat in two-and-a-half days at the Pallekele International Stadium on Monday will be hard to digest for its cricket fraternity as it was owing to rank-bad cricket.
Routed in the first two Tests, Sri Lankan cricket sunk to a new low on Monday when India wrapped up the third Test in less than three days, winning by an innings and 171 runs. Sri Lanka’s first innings lasted 37.4 overs and second 74.3 overs as India completed a 3-0 whitewash.
A crestfallen Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal apologised to the Sri Lankan team supporters. “I am apologising to all Sri Lankan fans here and away from home. I apologise for this performance.”
In 2003-04 also, Sri Lanka had lost all three Tests against Australia, but this defeat would hurt more due to a lack of fight.
“This is the toughest series in my career, no doubt. The reason is that we were not able to take the games to five days. There have been four-day Tests and three-day Tests. This is the worst series ever,” Chandimal said.
“It’s pretty tough for me and the team. Credit goes to India. They have played outstandingly well in the series. I am disappointed that if we could have dragged the game to the fifth day we could have learned something, but losing within two-and-a-half days you cannot give any excuses.”
After the first day, the game was evenly poised but Hardik Pandya took the game away by targeting the Sri Lankan spinners. Chandimal admitted his bowling changes backfired, especially the use of left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara, who was hammered for 26 runs in one over by Pandya.
“People asked why we didn’t use seamers when Hardik Pandya was on the rampage. When bowlers are tired, there is no point giving the ball to them. You have to handle those situations. The fast bowlers had bowled a few overs at that stage and it was a gamble I didn’t want to take. These things go either way. At that moment, the decision we took went wrong.” (Courtesy hindustan times)