Galle: Although India won by a whopping margin of 304 runs, that too within four days, they had to toil extremely hard to go 1-0 up in the three-Test series in Sri Lanka because of the resistance from the Galle International Stadium pitch that played totally out of character.
“Yes, the last time when we played here, the surface offered much more to the bowlers. It kept the bowlers in the game throughout, the quicks and the spinners more so,” said Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Saturday evening.
“This time around, the wicket was really good to bat on even ’til today. I mean, if you applied yourself, you could easily score runs on that surface. So, yeah, we had to work hard to get all the wickets that we did. I think the bowlers came up with different plans, persisted with those plans long enough to get those breakthroughs and that’s something that always helps at the beginning of a series.”
“To get a victory on a surface which is not offering much, that really gives the team the confidence of doing it once more if we get a surface like that,” he added
India, the number one ranked side, were playing its first Test since the end of March in Dharamsala against Australia and while, typically, Kohli said there was plenty of scope for improvement, he did admit that the team had ticked most of the boxes.
“Yeah, we would like to think so,” he agreed.
“There are still some areas that we want to look back and try to improve upon; especially when you get four-five wickets and not letting the lower order to get away with a few runs in the latter half of the innings. It’s something that we can still identify and work on in the next two games as well.”
“But all in all, I think, playing Test cricket – March is the last when we last played Test cricket – and from then having played so much one-day cricket and not having the time to prepare so much in between .
I think from that point of view, 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 that we don’t have areas that we look to improve on; as I mentioned before there are things that we can still improve on, but very happy with the performance.”
The two teams will now lock horns in the second Test starting Wednesday in Colombo.