Here is CricketNext's report card as we analyse the performance of the Indian players from the match.
Shikhar Dhawan: Rating 5, Verdict: Average
After a brilliant show in the opening Test of the series in Galle, a lot was expected from Dhawan is this game as he eclipsed Abhinav Mukund to the opening batsman’s slot on the back of a brilliant 190 in the series opener. But Dhawan threw it away in the only opportunity he got in the second Test. Having started fluently, he looked set for another biggie before a lapse in concentration saw him miss a sweep of Dilruwan Perera. Having hit a 37-ball 35, he would surely rue adding more to his tally.
KL Rahul: Rating 8, Verdict: Very Good
Replacing Abhinav Mukund in the team after missing the first game due to a viral, Rahul showed that he belongs here as he hit another fifty, his sixth consecutive score above 50 in Test cricket. While Rahul looked in complete control and set for a three-figure score, an untimely mix-up with Cheteshwar Pujara saw the opener lose his wicket with his personal score of 57. Disappointment was writ large on his face as Rahul walked back to the dressing room.
Cheteshwar Pujara: Rating 10, Verdict: Excellent
It is not every day that the skipper calls you the best batsman in the team, but Virat Kohli did just that at the end of the second Test on Sunday as he referred to Pujara as the best in the team. Pujara simply cannot stop scoring runs. After a very successful home season, Pujara started the Test series against Sri Lanka with a 153 in the first game and followed it up with 133 in the second Test. Playing in his 50th Test match, Pujara couldn’t have asked for a better outing.
Virat Kohli: Rating 3, Verdict: Poor
The team might have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, but skipper Virat Kohli had nothing to write home about at the end of the second Test. In fact, the rating is for the captaincy and not for his batting. Coming in to bat with the score reading 109/2, the platform was set and the opportunity perfect for Kohli to carry on from where he left in the first game in Galle. But a flashy square drive ended Kohli’s stay in the middle as he managed just 13 runs on a batting paradise. This after the run-machine completed 1000 runs as skipper outside India in the previous match.
Ajinkya Rahane: Rating 10, Verdict: Excellent
Having failed in the first Test, India’s vice-captain took the opportunity in the second Test by the scruff of the neck as he hit a brilliant 132. Coming in at the fall of Kohli’s wicket, Rahane took the initiative and ensured that the scoring rate didn’t drop as he hit the timely boundaries to help Pujara play his natural game. But it wasn’t just his century that deserves praise. Rahane’s catching was also top-class as he finished with 5 catches in the Test match.
Wriddhiman Saha: Rating 9, Verdict: Very Good
Be it with the bat or behind the stumps, Wriddhiman Saha was at the top of his game in the second Test. Kohli summed it up best when he said: “Saha is definitely the best keeper in this format right now. He's very agile and can create chances at any stage.” Saha cold do no wrong in the Colombo Test as he first hit a gritty 67 and then followed it up with brilliant glovework in Sri Lanka’s second essay. The catch to dismiss Angelo Mathews deserves special mention as he gobbled up an edge off Mathews’ bat after the ball turned and bounced from a goodlength spot.
Hardik Pandya: Rating 5, Verdict: Average
Hardik Pandya may have impressed in his debut Test match in Galle, but his performance wasn’t noteworthy in the second Test. While Pandya did pick two crucial wickets in Lanka’s second essay — those of Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella — that was all that he did in the whole Test. His 20 off 20 balls in India’s only innings doesn’t mean much as this was no limited-overs game where the team needed quick runs. But it is still early days and Hardik will only get better with every outing.
R Ashwin: Rating 9, Verdict: Very Good
After a quality show in the Galle Test, Ravichandran Ashwin was back to his favourite job of picking wickets in Colombo as he finished with 7 wickets in the game. After picking 5 wickets in the first innings to bundle the Lankans out for just 183, Ashwin picked the wickets of Pushpakumara and Nuwan Pradeep on the fourth day as India romped home with a day to spare. In fact, Ashwin was the one to dismiss last batsman Pradeep to seal the deal. He was just as good with the bat in hand as he hit a solid 54 to help India post a mammoth total.
Ravindra Jadeja: Rating 9.5, Verdict: Excellent
Be it with the bat or the ball or in the field, you just cannot keep Ravindra Jadeja away from the limelight. The left-arm spinner was the wrecker-in-chief as India dismissed Sri Lanka for 386 in the second innings. He picked 5 wickets in the post-lunch session on Sunday to bowl the hosts out of the game. More than the wickets, it was the precision with which Jadeja bowled that made him unplayable and helped Virat Kohli pile the pressure on the hosts. Easily, India's best bowler of the match. Earlier, he batted beautifully to hit an unbeaten 70.
Mohammed Shami: Rating 5, Verdict: Average
Shami did not have much to do on a wicket which was cut-out for the spinners. In fact, despite failing to pick wickets in the second innings, Shami did bowl a good line to keep the pressure on the Lankan batsman. In the first innings, it was Shami who picked the all-important wicket of Niroshan Dickwella when the wicket-keeper was looking to take the attack to the Indians with his power-hitting.
Umesh Yadav: Rating 5, Verdict: Average
Just like Shami, Umesh Yadav too gave it his all on the wicket customised to suit the spinners. Umesh bowled admirably in both the innings and ended the match with two wickets and while he sent back Kusal Mendis in the first innings, it was the wicket of Upul Tharanga in the second innings.
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Ajinkya RahaneCheteshwar PujaraHardik PandyaIndia vs Sri Lanka 2017kl rahulmohammed shamiR AshwinRavindra Jadejashikhar dhawanUmesh Yadavvirat kohliWriddhiman Saha
First Published: August 7, 2017, 11:41 AM IST