India are in control of the Galle Test after dismissing Sri Lanka for a paltry 183 in the first innings, their second-lowest total at home vs India. But India could have been in a more dominant position had skipper Virat Kohli not missed a trick, feels Sunil Gavaskar.
“There was no good reason not to bring (Ravichandran) Ashwin immediately after lunch, and even when Kohli did bring him on it was from the other end, not the one where he had picked three wickets before lunch. So, Virat missed a trick there. If Ashwin had been brought on immediately after lunch the story could have been different,” Gavaskar told NDTV. (Day 1 Highlights | Report | Pics)
Gavaskar’s concerns may stem from the fact that India are supposed to bat last on the spin-friendly Galle pitch, after Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews won the toss and decided to bat first.
“It might still be a good toss to win for Angelo Mathews,” said Gavaskar. “The much celebrated Indian batsmen must put their hands up and take a huge lead to ensure they don’t have to bat in the second innings, or if they bat in the 4th innings then make sure they don’t have to chase too many runs,” he said. (Indian Spinners Exploited the Conditions Nicely, Says Chandimal)
The much anticipated and talked about Ashwin vs Harbhajan clash was also on display on Day 1 of the Galle Test and Gavaskar felt round-one belonged to the Chennai off-spinner.
“Harbhajan bowled economically, but didn’t have the same impact and didn’t look as troublesome as Ashiwn did,” Gavaskar said. (Ashwin Turns Philosophical After Six-Wicket Haul)
Interestingly, Ashwin’s splendid figures of 6/46 are the best by an Indian bowler in Sri Lanka – a record that was previously held by Harbhajan. His 6/102 also came in Galle, in 2008.