A low scoring game always turns out to be a tricky one. Losing the fifth wicket half way through the chase provided a good testing ground for the Indian batsmen. Before speaking about Badrinath's debut, we must understand his mindset when he didn't make it to the team in the first cut.
Just after the team for the Sri Lankan ODI series was declared, I saw Badrinath's interview in one of the news channels. He said he felt miserable and didn't know how to accept his non-inclusion.
I suppose there are many players who wait anxiously for the selection day to find out if their names figure in the list. These restless moments play a pivotal role in shaping a cricketer's psyche. Many of them first lose confidence in the system and gradually lose confidence in themselves. Only a few remain resolute and motivated to stay in contention.
Badri was one of the few who didn't lose heart upon not being considered. Maybe, the secret of his motivation could be skipper Dhoni's trust in him. A captain's confidence is very important in grooming a player's career at the international level.
Badri didn't look nervous as he walked into a very difficult situation. Dhoni's presence seemed to be a boon as both of them started the partnership by rotating singles. Here again, the duo's stint for the Chennai IPL team came handy.
Badri handled both Murali and the mysterious Mendis with aplomb.
A match-winning knock on the first outing should do a lot of good to Badri's confidence. But this is just a beginning and he has a long way to go.
Dambulla has always offered more to the bowlers. Knowing the advantage bowlers hold on this wicket, it would have been sad if the bowlers had let go such an opportunity. Zaheer Khan made his effort count by adhering to the very elements of fast bowling. The early exit of Sangakkara and Jayasuriya creates a vacuum in the batting line up. Barring the skipper, the patience of the other batsmen appears circumspect.
The Indians must be on their toes as the rest of the games are to be played at Premadasa, a venue, which suits the hosts more.