A tale of contrasts in second Test between India and Sri Lanka

India’s batsmen revelled at Bengaluru but Sri Lanka made it look like their turn to bat was at another venue.

Sad but true, Sri Lanka are far from competitive against anyone close to the the best.

Actually very far.

Sad as it sounds, catching up with where they once belonged not so long ago in world standings, is a long, long way.

Unlike in the past, Sri Lanka are in an uncertain transition, trying to claw their way back.

The expectation from this cricket-mad country is high among its millions of fans. But the trough they are in at the moment is deep.

Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne was the lone sentinel, with a century in the second Test, while the others floundered around him.

Unlike Australia, who are proving that accountability is part of being selected to pull on the baggy green, which appears to be paying off in Pakistan, Sri Lanka’s attitude demands a coaching figurehead to lead them out of the wilderness.

If there was a motivating factor for the Lankan batsmen to lift in the second Test, it was to honour retiring bowler Suranga Lakmal, who has been a successful servant for the country for 13 years.

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The bowlers did well to restrict the strong Indian batting line up to 252 in the first innings on a wicket that would have made a magician blush.

But their batsmen did not learn a thing from the Indians on how to counter the extremely challenging pitch, handing back the impetus to the dominant home team with a pathetic display.

There is a lot to be done to resurrect Sri Lanka cricket and it should start with a scout for an inspirational coach.

With a sorry history of how foreign and local coaches have been treated in the past, finding one will be an equally tough task.

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