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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sri Lanka vs India 1st Test 2008: Preview and Live Score

There are only two days left before the much awaited test series between Sri Lanka and India begins with the first test starting from 23 July at the Sinhalese Sports Club, Colombo. Irrespective of teams and venue, the first test of a series is always very important for both sides and in most cases, the first test of a test series has a far reaching effect on the whole test series. The first of the three-test series is now very important for both India and Sri Lanka, and definitely both sides will look to have a good start in the series winning the first test. The match will kick off at local time 10:30 (GMT: 05:00).

One this is for sure that Sri Lanka can not expect much of advantage over India in terms of weather and condition, because Indian players will not find it difficult to cope up with the Sri Lankan condition, which is of typical sub-continent condition in which India should not have any problem. However, Sri Lanka will get the home crowds beside them which, to some extent, might give some psychological edge to the host side. India, on the other hand, has no reason to be worried about the pitch and condition because they are used to playing under this kind of condition back home.

India has played a three-day match against Sri Lanka Board XI, which ended up in a draw on Sunday. Though Indian batsmen failed to shine in the first innings of the three-day match, they played well in the second innings thanks to a confidence booster knock from opener Gautam Gambhir who played an unbeaten innings of 60 off 82 balls. In the first innings, India’s star batsman Sachin Tendulkar scored 69 and wicketkeeper added 58 to give India a decent total of 196 for 8 before Kumble declared the innings. Among the bowlers, the two spinners Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh played well. Kumble picked up three wickets, while Harbhajan Singh bagged four wickets in the match. So, the three-day match could not bring anything special for the Indian side, though batting in the second innings will boost up the confidence of Indian batsmen ahead of the first test.

Captains of both sides are confident regarding chances of their sides in the test series. Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene thinks the cricket fans are going to experience a great series and also admits that Sri Lanka enjoys playing against India and this is always a tough challenge to win. The Sri Lankan captain also indicates his good record against India so far. Anil Kumble, on the other hand, is only focused on winning the test series. He also relishes India’s consistent performance in test cricket over the last year and now is pretty much confident ahead of the first test. The leg spinner is also happy with getting some key players back to the squad who have overcome from injuries. Sachin has come back after recovering from groin injury, while Zaheer Khan has been back to squad after missing out the Asia Cup and Kitply Cup in Bangladesh with injury. Kumble must be happy with Harbhajan Singh back after serving a five-match ban imposed by BCCI following a clash with Indian team mate Sreesanth during Indian Premier League.

Umpire Review System to be tested in the Series for the First Time

What is umpire review system? Well, if you are a fan of tennis, you might have seen that players on tennis court have the right to challenge umpire’s decision for a particular number of times during a match. The same thing is going to be initiated in cricket and the upcoming test series between India and Sri Lanka will undertake this rule for the first time. By this rule, players can challenge the decision of on-field umpires and captains of both sides will make the call.

Sachin Tendulkar: Reaching on a New High

Do you think that Sachin Tendulkar will be able to score 172 runs during this three-match test series? Well, do not get me wrong. I am not going to put my money on a betting site on the issue whether Sachin will be bale to score 172 runs in the test series. Actually, the batting maestro needs 172 runs more to cross Brian Lara’s test cricket total of 11953 to become the leading run scorer in test cricket. So, fans of Sachin Tendulkar are now eagerly waiting to see Sachin reaching the milestone in this series.

Spotlight on Ajantha Mendis

Yes, this unorthodox Sri Lankan spinner has taken away much of the media attention ahead of the first test. He is the latest wonder-boy of Sri Lankan cricket after pacer Lasith Malinga. Actually, it is very hard to classify the bowling action of Ajantha Mendis who spins the bowl on the tip of his finger- thus delivering six different deliveries in the same over. In his cricinfo profile, he has been termed as a right-arm slow-medium bowler. Spinning the bowl on either way is the main strength of his bowling.

After his match winning bowling performance of 8 for 13 in the final of Asia Cup 2008 against India, he has been the centre of all attention ahead of the test series. There are many who think Mendis could pose a serious threat for India’s star studded batting line up. In fact, Mendis is considered as next Muralitharan in cricket. Over the last one decade, whenever a test team visited Sri Lanka on a test tour Muttiah Muralitharan was on the forefront of their mind and the visiting sides were busy wit planning to stop the spinner. However, ahead of the test series against India, Muralitharan has taken the backseat for the first team, while Ajantha Mendis who is yet to win his test debut is the player the media is raving around. To tell the truth, Muralitharan could never pose any big threat for India’s ever strong batting line up, but this time, Indian batsmen are really considering Mendis seriously.

India: Batting is the Ultimate Strength, but Don’t Forget Kumble, Harbhajan

There is no doubt, India’s current test batting line up is one of the most formidable ones in the world with the presence of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. I think, these four batting maestros will have to play big role during the test series because they are the main strength of their batting line up. Young opener Gautam Gambhir is in good form, while his opening partner Virender Sehwag is enough to destroy any bowling side in his day. For bowling, India’s main hope relies on the two spinners: Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh. Zaheer Khan’s presence will give an extra boost to Indian bowling line up.

Online Live Score and Updates

I know that you will not wish to miss the any part of the actions of the test series between the two neighboring countries. ESPN will bring the matches live for the television viewers. However, it is also true that some of you might not be able to stick to their television set due to personal and professional works. Still, I will request you not to be disheartened. Rather, you can still enjoy the online live score and updates of Sri Lanka vs India first test from various websites in the net. Some of the links of such websites are given below:


It would be very tough to predict about the first test. It is pretty much confirmed that Ajantha Mendis might be given his test debut in the first test and I am looking forward to see him playing test cricket. I think, much of the result of the first test depend on how Indian batsmen play against Sri Lankan spinners. I just hope to see an exciting match in the first test of the Sri Lanka vs India test series.

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