So what now after the Asia Cup? The Indians are coming for a full series and that is a not-so-good news: Ind-SL matches are getting boring as they play too many matches between them recently and we would like to see more of South Africa or Australia in Sri Lanka (its more than 8 years since we have Australia play a Test match in Sri Lanka).
Now the intriguing question is, can we win against India this time at home? Ajantha Mendis and Murali, who won us the 2008 home series against India are not going to be that effective, if their recent form against India is anything to go by.
Personally, I am confident of our batsmen. At Test match level (which is played under daylight thankfully) Jayawardene will be our saviour. He knows home conditions more than anyone else. He, along with Thilan Samaraweera, will be the men whom we can count on to bat for hours, with loads of patience, which is the secret to batting in SL’s slow and low pitches.
Dilshan, who is our own version of Sehwag, will have an equally important role. Slow and low pitches do not matter for him if he keeps going.
Sangakkara has the talent, but will he deliver when it matters? Only God knows. I am not sure if others have noticed it, he seems to have a weakness against Zaheer Khan’s swinging delivery which come in to him. And he has been dismissed by Zaheer Khan in Tests and ODIs quite a few times.
In the bowling department, the real worry apart from the spinners is the fast bowlers.
Malinga is super effective in T20s and effective in ODIs, with his fast, swinging yorkers. But that is a different story with batsmen trying to score runs of you in limited overs and losing their wickets.
Test cricket is the "real test", with batsmen taking their time to settle down and bowlers need to be fit to bowl a full day or two. And make no mistake about the Indian batsmen in their test squad: Sehwag, Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman, if they take their time to settle and handled Mendis and Murali well, then SL is in for some real trouble. Do we really have the opening bowlers to trouble India, especially Sehwag right at the start?
Personally, I will be upset if India beats SL in our home and certainly our pride will be dented, because SL is one place India have not won a test series in recent times apart from South Africa and Australia.
I would like to get the views of other fans on how are we going to defend our pride at home against the Indians? Whom you guys think will be crucial for SL?
I hope you guys will throw some light, keeping in mind the facts rather than the reputation of some of the big names in our team.