India vs Sri Lanka Cricket Series 2008

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India in Sri Lanka Cricket Series 2008

IND v SL, 2nd Test, Galle, Day 1: India reach 214-4 on first day

Sri Lanka claimed four late wickets in quick succession Thursday to seize the initiative back from India after a rain-shortened opening day of the second Test.
India openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir combined for an opening stand of 167 that put the visitors on top, and seemingly en route for redemption after a massive loss in the first test. However, once play resumed after a long rain break, Sri Lanka spinner Ajantha Mendis (2-74) and seamer Chaminda Vaas (2-57) won back the advantage by reducing India to 214-4 at stumps at Galle International Stadium.
India captain Anil Kumble won the toss and elected to bat, and Sehwag (128 not out) and Gambhir (56) ripped the bowlers apart with some positive batting and took India to 151-0 at lunch off just 29 overs. Gambhir also received a reprieve when dropped on 13. Sehwag resumed his charge after the stoppage, hoisting a delivery from Vaas for six over long-on and driving him straight back to the boundary to reach his 15th test hundred.
Mendis broke the openers' assault by trapping Gambhir lbw. Gambhir challenged his dismissal under the new law which allows a player to seek a video review of umpiring decision, but third umpire Mark Benson of England agreed with field umpire Billy Doctrove that he was out. With the breakthrough, four wickets fell for just 11 runs and India were soon reduced to 178-4.
India's star batsmen Rahul Dravid (2), Sachin Tendulkar (5) and Sourav Ganguly (0) were all dismissed cheaply. Dravid was caught at silly mid-on by Malinda Warnapura off Mendis, Vaas snared the dangerous Tendulkar lbw and later had Ganguly caught behind.
Sehwag and V.V.S Laxman began rebuilding India's innings, sharing 36 runs unbeaten for the fifth wicket. Sehwag, who hit 19 fours and two sixes in 122 balls, said that 350 to 400 runs could be a challenging first-innings score on the Galle pitch known to assist spin bowling in the last two days.
IND v SL, 2nd Test, Galle, Day 1: India 214-2 v Sri Lanka

IND v SL, 2nd Test, Galle: Prasad added to Sri Lanka squad

Uncapped fast bowler Dammika Prasad has been added to the Sri Lanka squad for the second Test with India.
Sri Lanka beat the tourists by an innings and 239 runs with a whole day to spare in the opening Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo, with spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis taking all but one of the 20 wickets over the two innings. Prasad, a 25-year-old fast bowler, has played in three One-day Internationals, taking three wickets. The second Test begins at Galle International Stadium on Thursday.

IND v SL, 2nd Test, Galle: Indian team concentrates on spin bowling

It was a strenuous work out for the Indian team on Tuesday with stress on tackling the spin bowlers and working on close in catches as it prepared to put the ignominy of defeat in the opener behind and move ahead for the second cricket Test at Galle on Thursday.
Looking at the players they do not seem sure whether to take the menacing Muttaiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis head on or opt for a copy book defence. While the Indians took to the nets since 9.30 am and ended in the afternoon, the Sri Lankan players resumed their session only at 2 pm. The prominent green grass blades on the ground and the developed pitch seem to promise an interesting match between the two Asian cricketing giants though the Indians would begin as underdogs going by the humiliating defeat in the first outing. The seemingly small boundaries could tempt players like Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Kumara Sangakkara to have a go at the bowlers.
The locals in the city are one in stating they would not like to miss the opportunity and watch the match at least for a day. The hoteliers are aghast that Galle has been overlooked as the venue for one-dayers against India which could have sent their cash registers ringing. The picturesque Galle International Stadium is located amidst the meandering roads that head for the Galle Fort and people can even view the match atop the old European style fort.
The 16th century Dutch fort has the Galle harbour on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other and is located about 130 kms from Colombo. A world heritage site, the fort is one of the largest in Asia built by European occupiers. Despite the longer version of the game being played here, the hotels owners are optimistic of increase in occupancy at the eleventh hour after Sri Lanka drubbed India in the Colombo Test.

IND v SL, 1st Test, Colombo, Day 4: India crash to big defeat after Murali-Mendis magic (1:0)

Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis made a mockery of India's strong batting reputation as Sri Lanka won the opening Test by a record innings and 239 runs at Colombo on Saturday.
Maverick off-spinner Muralitharan finished the match with 11 wickets as India were shot out for 138 in their second innings after conceding a lead of 377 on the fourth day. He was brilliantly supported by debutant Mendis, an unorthodox spinner with plenty of variation, who took eight wickets in the match to also play a crucial role in his team's victory with a day to spare.
It was Sri Lanka's biggest win over India in 27 Tests, the previous being by an innings and 77 runs at the same venue in 2001. The Indian batsmen, always considered better against spin than pace, looked clueless against the Sri Lankan spin duo, who kept striking at regular intervals even on an easy-paced track.
The tourists lost 14 wickets against spin in the day, including four in the first innings. None of the Indian batsmen could read the spin duo as the tourists' second innings lasted just 45 overs, with man-of-the-match Muralitharan grabbing 6-26 and Mendis 4-60 during their almost unplayable spells.
India were earlier bowled out for 223 in their first innings in reply to the hosts' massive 600-6 declared.
IND v SL, 1st Test, Colombo, Day 4: Sri Lanka 600-6 dec beat India 223 & 138 by an innings and 239 runs

IND v SL, 1st Test, Colombo, Day 3: India hope to avoid embarrassing follow-on

Muttiah Muralitharan shattered India's star-studded top order Friday with four wickets to put Sri Lanka firmly in command of the first test.
India closed the third day's play at 159-6 in reply to the hosts' 600-6 declared - a score that included a Sri Lankan record-equalling four centuries. India needs a further 241 runs to avoid the follow-on, with just four lower order wickets in hand.
Muralitharan took four for 38, picking up the wickets of opener Gautam Gambhir (39), Sachin Tendulkar (27), Sourav Ganguly (23) and Dinesh Karthik (9). Opener Virender Sehwag (25) was the first man out after a typically hard-hitting innings that had one too many aggressive shots, caught at deep square leg off seamer Nuwan Kulasekara. India went to tea at a decent 72-1, but five wickets fell in the final session to put the tourists in trouble.
The collapse began soon after tea with Gambhir driving in the air against Muralitharan to be caught at short mid-wicket by Thilan Samaraweera. Spinner Ajantha Mendis, on Test debut, bowled Rahul Dravid for 14 after the ball pitched on leg stump and turned to brush off stump.
Tendulkar, who came to the crease needing 172 runs to take the world record for most Test runs from former West Indies captain Brian Lara, misread a straight ball from Muralitharan and was bowled off an inside edge. Ganguly tried to hit Muralitharan across the line, but top-edged his sweep and was caught in the deep by Nuwan Kulasekara.
At stumps, V.V.S Laxman was on 19 with captain Anil Kumble on 1.
IND v SL, 1st Test, Colombo, Day 3: Sri Lanka 600-6 dec v India 159-6

IND v SL, 1st Test, Colombo, Day 2: Dilshan earns reprieve under Test cricket review trial

Sri Lankan batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan on Thursday became the first beneficiary of an experimental rule allowing players to seek a second opinion on umpiring decisions in Test cricket.
Dilshan was initially given out caught behind off left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan by umpire Mark Benson of England, but asked the official to review the decision on the second day of the first Test against India at Colombo. Benson consulted TV umpire Rudi Koertzen of South Africa before changing his decision as the ball had not touched the bat. Dilshan was then on one.
The rule is on trial in the current three-Test series. A batsman or fielding captain can request a review of any decision by referring it to the third official monitoring television replays. Each team is allowed three unsuccessful review requests per innings but if one is successful they will get an additional appeal.
India made two unsuccessful leg-before appeals against Sri Lankans Malinda Warnapura and Dilshan off spinner Harbhajan Singh. Left-handed opener Warnapura was on 86 and Dilshan on 19 when India captain Anil Kumble asked Benson to review the initial not-out decisions. Benson was proved right on both the occasions after consulting the TV umpire.
Warnapura went on to score 115, his second century in five Tests before falling in the afternoon session. Dilshan was unbeaten on 20 as Sri Lanka reached 422-4 in their first innings at stumps.
IND v SL, 1st Test, Colombo, Day 2: Sri Lanka 422-4 v India

IND v SL, 1st Test, Colombo, Day 1: Rain curtails play on the first day

Sri Lankan opener Malinda Warnapura defied India's attack with an unbeaten half-century on the opening day of the rain-hit first Test on Wednesday.
The hosts lost two wickets cheaply after electing to bat in overcast conditions, but left-handed Warnapura (50 not out) helped his team reach 85-2 in the first innings at stumps. Skipper Mahela Jayawardene was the other not-out batsman on 16 when play was called off due to bad light with 20 overs remaining. No play was possible before tea because of the rain. Indian fast bowlers Ishant Sharma and Zaheer Khan shared the wickets.
Sri Lanka's latest spin sensation Ajantha Mendis made his Test debut, just a few weeks after leading his side to victory with a six-wicket haul against India in the Asia Cup final in Karachi early this month.
IND v SL, 1st Test, Colombo, Day 1: Sri Lanka 85-2 v India

IND v SL, 1st Test, Colombo: Umpire challenge system, Tendulkar batting record draws focus in Sri Lanka-India test series

The test series between Sri Lanka and India could be pivotal for three reasons: the umpire challenge system going on trial, Sachin Tendulkar targeting a batting world record and spin bowling sensation Ajantha Mendis making his debut.
The three-test series beginning Wednesday at Sinhalese Sport Club will for the first time allow players to challenge umpiring decisions and have them referred to TV replays. The system takes the lead of tennis, which has used a similar challenge system to challenge decisions in Grand Slams since 2006.
Mendis who became an instant star with his stunning bowling return of 6-13 in the Asia Cup final against India earlier this month is very likely to make his test debut Wednesday. With its bowling attack weakened through injury to Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando and Farveez Maharoof, Sri Lanka has named Mendis as a second specialist spinner alongside veteran Muttiah Muralitharan in a 14-member squad. Mendis' six wickets in a 100-run win over India helped Sri Lanka defend the Asia Cup limited-overs title in Pakistan earlier this month. He has so far played in eight limited-overs internationals and taken 20 wickets.
The Indians are confident of giving him a tougher initiation in the test arena. Kumble said India's test batting order, featuring Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and V.V.S.Laxman, has enough quality and experience to tackle all the Sri Lankan bowlers — particularly Mendis. Kumble was expecting, as usual, the main threat from Sri Lanka to come from Muralitharan, the world's leading test wicket taker, and veteran paceman Chaminda Vaas.
Tendulkar, returning to the test side after a groin injury, is set to overtake former West Indies captain Brian Lara as test cricket's leading run scorer during the series. The 35-year-old has 11,782 test runs and needs 172 more to surpass Lara. Kumble indicated Tendulkar would be among six specialist batsmen, backed up by Dinesh Karthik, an accomplished wicketkeeper batsman, and four bowlers. He said there was unlikely to be changes from the side that played a three-day warmup match last week. Sri Lanka Team (from): Mahela Jayawardene (Captain), Kumar Sangakkara, Michael Vandort, Malinda Warnapura, Thilan Samaraweera, Tillekeratne Dilshan, Chamara Silva, Prasanna Jayawardene, Chaminda Vaas, Muttiah Muralitharan, Nuwan Kulasekara, Thilina Thushara Mirando, Ajantha Mendis and Chamara Kapugedera.
India Team (from): Anil Kumble (Captain), Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, V.V.S. Laxman, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Parthiv Patel, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Zaheer Khan, Rudra Pratap Singh, Munaf Patel and Pragyan Ojha.

IND v SL, 1st Test, Colombo: Sri Lanka team announced for 1st Test against India

Sri Lanka has announced a 14-member team for the first Test against India, beginning from July 23 at Colombo.
Young spinner Ajantha Mendis has been included in the host squad. He had diverted the cricket world’s attention towards him for his excellent bowling in the recent Asia Cup cricket tournament. He is expected to be given Test cap in the match, starting from July 23. Sri Lanka team:
Mahela Jayawardene (Captain), Kumar Sangakkara, Michael Vandort, Malinda Warnapura, Thilan Samaraweera, Chamara Silva, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Prasanna Jayawardene, Chaminda Vaas, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis, Thilan Thushara, Nuwan Kulasekera, Chamara Kapugedera.

Gambhir hits unbeaten 60 as Indians draw warmup match

Opener Gautam Gambhir scored an unbeaten 60 runs Sunday as a touring Indian side drew their three-day warmup match against a Sri Lanka Board XI.
Chasing a target of 276 runs to win, the Indians were 129 for two wickets when stumps were drawn on the final day at Nondescripts Cricket Club, Colombo. India faces Sri Lanka in three tests starting July 23 at Colombo, but it played this warmup match under the name "Indians."
Batting first after winning the toss, Sri Lanka Board XI were dismissed for 224. In reply the Indians declared their first innings for 196 for eight wickets, conceding the hosts a 28-run first innings lead. Sachin Tendulkar top scored with 69 runs while Dinesh Karthik made 58 not out.
Sri Lanka Board XI ended its second innings at 247 for 6. Chamara Silva followed up his 68 runs in the first innings with an unbeaten 59 in the second.

Indian bowlers hit form

India started their tour of Sri Lanka on an impressive note with their bowlers putting up a tidy performance to bundle out Sri Lanka Board XI for a modest 224 on a rain-truncated opening day of the three-day warm-up match at Colombo on Friday.
Electing to bat, the home team never really recovered from a shaky start and could have been skittled out for a much lower first-innings total had it not been for a resolute 100-run fifth-wicket partnership between Thilina Kandamby (84) and Chamara Silva (68). Captain Anil Kumble (3/30) was the pick of the Indian bowlers while pacer Zaheer Khan (2/35) and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh (2/52) chipped in with two wickets each at the Nondescripts Cricket Club. The Indians, playing their only warm-up match before the three-match Test series gets underway on July 23, were struggling at four for one at close with opener Gautam Gambhir back in the pavilion.
The track at the NCC gave some assistance to the bowlers, and the visitors exploited the conditions reasonably well to capture wickets at periodic intervals. The lanky pacer Ishant Sharma drew first blood for the Indians by getting rid of opener Mahela Udawatte (7), with wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik taking a smart catch. Upul Tharanga, the other opener, returned to the pavilion soon after to reduce the hosts to a precarious 20 for two with Zaheer, returning to international cricket after a brief injury layoff, picking up his first scalp. The home team was left gasping at 82 for four as captain Jehan Mubarak (25) and Chamara Kapudegera (1) fell in quick succession to give the Indians a firm control of the game. But Kandamby and Chamara Silva stemmed the rot with a crucial partnership as they mixed caution with aggression to bail the team out of a tight spot. Kandamby slammed 11 boundaries during his 138-ball knock while Silva hit six boundaries during his innings, which came off 108 balls.
After the two batsmen were dismissed, the tail-enders caved in quickly and the innings folded up in 71.5 overs. The Indian bowlers did a good job but the fielding was not up to the mark though it improved as the match progressed. Harbhajan Singh took his own time to find his length and direction though he ended up with two wickets.

Sri Lanka's Jayawardene eager to renew India rivalry

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said on Wednesday his team was keen to renew the rivalry with India in a three-Test series starting at Colombo next week.
"Personally, I have a couple of milestones against India. I made my Test debut against them and also scored my first Test double-century against them. It's a pretty good team for me to play against," said Jayawardene. "We thoroughly enjoy playing India at home or away. It's always been a tough challenge. There is good rivalry with our neighbours."
Jayawardene, who made his Test debut in 1997 against India, hit 242 against them during the Asian Test championship match in 1999. The Sri Lankan captain, with 7,478 runs in 95 Tests, said the series would be closely contested as both the teams had quality players.
"Every time we have played them, there has been good cricket as both the teams have some quality players. I am sure the public will have a great series to watch," he said.
Sri Lanka last hosted India for a Test series in 2001, winning 2-1 after a close contest. The tourists were without key spinner Anil Kumble and batsman Sachin Tendulkar, who were injured.
Tendulkar is now just 172 short of breaking retired West Indies captain Brian Lara's world record of 11,953 Test runs.
"We are going to treat Sachin in the same manner as anybody else in the Indian camp. It will be a great milestone if he achieves it, but our focus will be on winning the series," said Jayawardene.
India captain Kumble was confident of his team's good show in Sri Lanka, saying they would like to maintain the consistency. "We have done well in the lead-up to the Test series. In the last one year or so we have been consistent with our performances. That's something we will take forward," said Kumble. India's bowling attack will be at full strength with the return of left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan, who has not figured in a Test this year due to injuries. "We have Zaheer back with his experience of bowling in sub-continental conditions. Ishant Sharma has really progressed well as a seamer, and Harbhajan Singh is back as well," said Kumble. "The last time we played Sri Lanka in India (in 2005) we beat them, so we are confident."
The skipper said his team had quality batsmen to succeed against Sri Lanka's latest spin sensation Ajantha Mendis, who could make his Test debut against the tourists. Mendis outwitted Indian batsmen with clever variations in the recent Asia Cup final in Karachi, where he bagged six wickets for 13 runs to lead his team to victory. "Our middle order has more than 30,000 Test runs and four of them have played more than 100 Tests," said Kumble. "It will be challenging and I am sure our batsmen will definitely cope with that. It is something we need to be on the lookout for."
India open their tour with a three-day practice match in Colombo on Friday. They will also play five one-day internationals after the Test series.

Indian team to practice in Chennai before SL tour

Anil Kumble-led Indian cricket team will have a day's physical conditioning and net practice on Monday in Chennai before embarking on their tour to Sri Lanka on July 15.
Dr R N Baba, Media Manager of the Indian cricket administration, said that Kumble and Coach Gary Kirsten would address the media on July 14 after their practice sessions.
India is scheduled to play a three-Test series from July 23 to August 12 and then start their five-match one day series from August 18 to 29.
Since 1982 India and Sri Lanka have played in 26 Test matches with India having won 10 matches, including two at Colombo and Kandy while the Lankan's victories have come about at home in Colombo (twice) and Galle. Three matches have been drawn.
The Lankans in their last three-test series in India lost zero-two. After drawing the Chennai test, India won the next two at Delhi and Ahmedabad.

BCCI announces squad for Sri Lanka Test series

An exhausted Mahendra Singh Dhoni was rested while young left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha was rewarded for his consistent performance with a berth in India's 16-member squad for the Test series in Sri Lanka, starting July 23.
Gautam Gambhir and Rohit Sharma, who have been an integral part of India's one-day team, were also named in the side which had no place for opener Wasim Jaffer, an out-of-form Yuvraj Singh and struggling pacer Irfan Pathan. The 21-year-old Ojha, who came into the limelight for his fine performance in the recent Indian Premier League, was preferred over fellow spinner Piyush Chawla and was the only new face in the squad announced by BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Dhoni's absence paved the way for Parthiv Patel's recall into the Test squad after a long gap. Parthiv comes back to the team on the back of his fine batting performance in the domestic circuit. Dinesh Kaarthick is the other wicket-keeper in the team.
Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh, both of whom had been out of action in the one-dayers, were named in the squad which will have a new vice-captain in Virender Sehwag.
While Tendulkar had been recuperating from a groin injury that forced him out to sit out of the third and final Test against South Africa in April, Harbhajan was serving a five-match ODI ban for slapping teammate S Sreesanth during the Indian Premier League. Sreesanth, who is nursing a side strain, has also been left out of the squad. India Team: Anil Kumble (c), Virender Sehwag (v-c), Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Zaheer Khan, RP Singh, Munaf Patel, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Kaarthick, Pragyan Ojha and Parthiv Patel.

Editor: Nishanth Gopinathan.