Virat Kohli credits bowlers, Galle wicket for big India win vs Sri Lanka
Virat Kohli-led India defeated Sri Lanka by 304 runs at Galle to take 1-0 lead in the three Test series.Updated: Jul 29, 2017 20:02 IST
Hindustan Times, Galle
The Indian team is firing on all cylinders, and Sri Lanka bore the brunt of it in the opening Test at the Galle International Stadium. The venue is supposed to be the home team’s bastion - they had defeated India three times in four contests here. But, on the last four days, it was a no-contest as Virat Kohli’s men crushed a clueless Sri Lanka by 304 runs.
India captain Virat Kohli declared his team ticked all the boxes in the Galle Test. He has an embarrassment of riches after both the openers got runs, his bowlers were relentless on an unresponsive pitch and all his men in the middle order rattled up runs.
The returns included three hundreds (Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli), wickets for both the spinners (R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja), and early breakthroughs by the pacers (Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav) in both the innings.
“Yeah, we would like to think so (India ticked all the boxes). It was good to get back into the groove and do things that are supposed to be done to win a Test match. From that point of view, I feel we had a pretty good game. I won’t say we don’t have areas that we look to improve on, but very happy with the performance,” said Kohli.
“There are still some areas we want to look back and try to improve upon; especially when you get four-five wickets, not letting the lower order get away in the latter half of the innings. It’s something we can still work on in the next two games.”
He singled out the bowlers, saying they made the difference between the teams. Sri Lanka failed to contain the Indian batsmen while Shami, Umesh, Ashwin and Jadeja kept the home batsmen on a tight leash in conditions that were not easy.
“The last time we played here (2015) the surface offered much more to the bowlers. It kept the bowlers in the game throughout, the quicks, and the spinners more so. This time around, the wicket was really good to bat on even till today. We had to work hard for getting all the wickets that we did. The bowlers came up with different plans and persisted with them long enough to get those breakthroughs.”
He had led a young team here two years back and lost. Kohli returned to Galle having transformed the team into a dominating unit, the No 1 Test team.
Talking about his team’s development, Kohli said: “At that time, it was more about talking a lot about plans and planning a lot about how to go in a certain way against a certain player. Now I think guys are very comfortable with their skills and how they have to bowl and where they have to bowl, and what fields they want. That is the biggest change I see.”
First Published: Jul 29, 2017 20:00 IST