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India vs Sri Lanka: SL Coach Sees Huge Positives From Drawn Opening Test

Sri Lanka were finally able to pose a challenge to India in the first Test after being hammered in the home series and that, according to chief coach Nic Pothas, was a huge positive

PTI |November 20, 2017, 8:38 PM IST
India vs Sri Lanka: SL Coach Sees Huge Positives From Drawn Opening Test

Kolkata: Sri Lanka were finally able to pose a challenge to India in the first Test after being hammered in the home series and that, according to chief coach Nic Pothas, was a huge positive. "We did not compete at all in the series in Sri Lanka. We have been very competitive here in the first Test that's a huge positive, credit to everyone in the team and the support staff. We got tougher, we got success in UAE and played well here," Pothas said at the post-match media conference.

Sri Lanka were routed at home 0-9 across three formats by India three months ago but they bounced back to win two Tests against Pakistan in UAE. Pace spearhead Suranga Lakmal troubled India in both the innings in a match haul of seven wickets and it was Virat Kohli's unbeaten 104 in the second innings that swung the momentum in the final two sessions.

Pothas said the side which is in transition after the departure of two legends -- Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara -- are up for the challenges. "Process began in Sri Lanka absolutely. Things like that do not happen overnight. We are certainly not going to be counting our chickens... We played a couple of good Tests against Pakistan, were competitive here but we have a long way to go. This side is going to be a very good side looking into the future there's no doubt."

Sri Lanka however collapsed to 75/7 in their second essay with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami unleashing their fury but it did not bother Pothas. "It's always a concern when you lose seven wickets. But the more often you play, I think these two series back to back against India will help in making of the Sri Lankan team of the future.

"You become better when you play against a quality team under pressure. It's a concern but I'm more excited about how we fought and came out of it, looking back at all four days." Despite little to play for after two rain-curtailed days, India and Sri Lanka played hard for a win with words being exchanged frequently on the field.

"It's fantastic, isn't it? It's Test match cricket. It's a tough environment, it's a cauldron and that's how players earn respect from each other. I thought it was played fantastically well. Very tough, high pressured game." "We bowled very well, we fielded very well and the intensity was good. We did have India under pressure. Virat played a fantastic innings to set up a very good game of Test match cricket. I don't think anything went wrong. It was a very good cricket from both sides," he concluded.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7748 277
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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