Monday, August 18, 2008
Dumb at Dambulla
Yes, Mendis continues to mesmerise. But the real damage was done before he came on to bowl. Four of the top five batsmen fell to the Lankan pacers, even when they're without the services of Maharoof, Malinga and Fernando. Dhoni said after the toss that the wicket had grass but would not help the pacers. Duh!? There was clearly both seam movement and bounce in the morning, and the Indian top order got bogged down and then threw their wickets away thinking they had to get quick runs before Mendis and Murali came on. It's a pity Ishant Sharma, who rattled the Lankans in the Tests, has not been made available to Dhoni. But if Dhoni is not going to give his bowlers the advantage of bowling first in helpful conditions, then I guess it makes no difference. India's homework was zero on the Dambulla pitch, which has grass imported from Australia, and has produced low scores for teams batting first recently. If only Whatmore had been our coach!