India have started well and there wasn’t rustiness in their performance. Maybe, one couldn't identify them with a well-oiled machine, but India did whatever best was needed to start well after a breather. Rather, Sri Lanka didn’t look like a side which has been in the park for some time and recently won a Test and one-day series against Pakistan.
The Indian batting has always dominated the Sri Lankan bowling, as the it lacks pace and unless and they push the Indians on the back foot, they will be going at more than six runs an over. The spinners also looked ineffective and the field placements of Mahela also did not help. Where Dhoni attacked with his spinners, having fielders in catching areas, Mahela allowed the batsman to collect runs easily. If he doesn’t win the toss and his bowlers look so ordinary, it will be hard for him to get back in the series.
India’s batting in the subcontinent has never been a worry but it was satisfying to see the approach of some of them. Sehwag showed patience, which has been asked of him for long, and we will have to see whether this is going to be his new approach or he will flatter to deceive again. Whether in the subcontinent or abroad, Sehwag has to curb his initial instinctive shot-making, and if he gives himself time, he will be a lot more destructive then he has been in the shorter format. A bit more pressure on him at times makes him change his game for the better.
Watching Viru and Virat in flow was a treat. Virat is the man for the future. The way he has shaped up as a batsman is an example for the younger players in the dressing room. He is hungry and eager to adapt quickly. His biggest asset is the desperation to succeed and what will stand him in good stead will be his ability to convert scores into three-figure marks. That’s the hallmark of a quality player, which he is. With the retirement of Dravid and a few of the others not too far away, his form will be important for Indian cricket.
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The writer is a former India captain.