Cricket in Sri Lanka mixes plenty of pleasure with serious stuff. One can feast on seafood, play table-tennis, relax on the beaches and soak in the local delights.
The boys are soaking in the beauty of the Emerald Isle #TeamIndia#IndvsSLpic.twitter.com/6L4sty2SK5
— BCCI (@BCCI) August 11, 2015
Taking down some crab tonight with @imVkohli@SandeepRaj911#ministryofcrabpic.twitter.com/hee1ZM6XO6
— Varun Aaron (@VarunAaron) August 10, 2015
This is what Virat Kohli’s Team India have been doing ever since landing in Colombo on August 3. Come Wednesday, all that will change. (The Ranking Game for Virat Kohli And His Men)
The time for India to start winning Tests overseas begins now. They have won only one Test away from home in the last five years and there is growing pressure to change this horror trend. The first of the three-Test series starts in Galle on Wednesday and all that matter will be good batting, intelligent bowling and sharp fielding. (Kohli Has to Deal With All Expectations: Kaluwitharana)
In the build-up to the series, India played just one warm-up game, Kohli has been clear of how the team will approach this series and it has been a positive sign. (Virat Kohli Looks To Impress)
“The basic idea is to take 20 wickets. That’s the only way you can win a game. The idea of playing five bowlers is pretty clear,” Kohli said in his pre-match chat with the media.
The captain, not amongst runs, wants to lead from the front. “The responsibility is on the top five batsmen to score the bulk of the runs,” said Kohli. Sunil Gavaskar feels Kohli should bat at No. 3 so that he can set the agenda for rest of the team.
Team Director Ravi Shastri too has set the agenda for the young team.
The hard-talking ex-Test all-rounder has said: “It is extremely important to start winnings games. They have had the learning curve in South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia. They have played a lot of cricket overseas and that experience factor will certainly come into play when they get back to conditions they are familiar with.”
India have not won a series in Sri Lanka for the last 22 years. They are playing a Test series in the country for the first time since 2010. Kohli has an outstanding record against Sri Lanka in ODIs but he will aim to inflict more pain on them in the longer format.
Both teams are in the rebuilding phase. The time for fun is over. On Wednesday, the onus will be on Kohli and his team to play serious cricket and win.