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Sunil Gavaskar - Master's words

The impressive aspect about India is that every member is contributing in team's victory

Tuesday, February 03, 2022
India has the psychological advantage

Two wins out of two gives Dhoni's team a clear psychological advantage over the home team as it tries to win the series and climb up the rankings. This is the 7th successive win for India after their 5-0 win over England in November last year. The most impressive aspect about it is that there is a vital contribution by just about every member of the team. 

The skipper continues to lead from the front and his gesture in walking when the umpire was in considerable doubt was heartwarming indeed. India were not out of the woods and with only the tail-enders remaining needed the skipper to stay for those last 7 overs of their innings to get a few more runs but Dhoni walked and with that one gesture showed that under him the team will not resort to unfair means to win games. This is great news and while it is accepted that not every player walks when he has edged the ball the fact that the skipper has done so will encourage more from his team to do so and thereby ease the burden on the umpires. 

More than anything else it is when batsmen stay when they know they are out and then get a big score is what causes animosity on the field and off it too. Sure a batsman will get a bad decision from the umpire sometimes and so many players ease their conscience by resorting to the comment that 'it all evens out in the end'. Maybe it does maybe not but with television cameras being so good what happens is that the viewer knows when a batsman is out and if he doesn't walk then in the ordinary viewers’ eyes he remains a cheat and that's not the image a player wants to live with. 

For Sri Lanka the plus was that their out of form skipper spent some time at the crease and though he got a slowish half century his team was in the hunt till he was there. The youngster Kandamby batted splendidly but Lanka left their assault a tad too late and after they lost Jaywardene and Kapugedera there wasn't much batting left. That is why Lanka would be better off bringing Chaminda Vaas back in the team because he is more than a handy hitter down the order and his canny swing bowling can ask questions of the Indian top order. At the moment there is no pressure on the Indian batsmen at the start of the innings and they are able to get off to a flying start.

Tendulkar has had a couple of horrible decisions against him which will mean he will look to play a bit away from the pads so as to not give the umpires a chance to raise their finger. Often those umpires wishing to make an impression feel that giving a batsman of the calibre of Tendulkar out will show that they are fearless and not cowed down by reputation but a wrong decision does not help their cause whatsoever and in fact delays their promotion to the higher ranks. 

It is good to see the application shown by Yuvraj who struggled against Mendis last year but is reading and playing the spinner well. He too got a bad one just when he was opening his shoulders for a big attack on the bowling. India's batsmen are all settling down but not going on to get the ton and that could well be due to the heat. Luckily the batting depth is such that they have been able to recover.

It was a close game and with the teams looking evenly matched we could be in for another tight finish.