Virat Kohli and his team’s dominance in Sri Lanka dominated most of the sports columns. The Indians decimated the Sri Lankans by an innings and 171 runs inside three days, ensuring that the cricketers earned an Independence Day holiday on Tuesday (August 15).
Elsewhere though, MSK Prasad seemed to hint that the days of MS Dhoni automatically being pencilled in on the team sheet might be over, while there was some uncertainty about R Ashwin’s limited-overs future.
Meanwhile, the manufacturers of the pink ball for day-night Test cricket defended their product against criticisms and Peter Handscomb indicated he would be happy to don the wicketkeeping gloves on Australia’s tour of Bangladesh if required. Glenn Maxwell on the other hand, was hoping a change of spin style would convince Steven Smith to throw him the ball in the series.
A happy India day for Virat Kohli’s men (The Indian Express)
Before they left for to the stadium on Monday, to perform the last rites of India’s first-ever whitewash on foreign soil of a series involving more than two Tests, Virat Kohli summoned his colleagues to his hotel room. He told them to forget that they had already pocketed the series and were on the brink of a historic feat.
Rather, he wanted them to imagine that it was the fifth day of a deciding Test overseas, against a stiffer opposition, where they would have to knock off nine wickets in 60-70 overs. “So that they take that attitude to the field and try to wrap up things and understand how that can be done. We wouldn’t have situations all the time where we’ll get 600, 500… So we keep finding different situations and scenarios where we can challenge ourselves as a team first before we look at the opposition,” Kohli later revealed.
Day 3 captures just how far Sri Lanka have fallen (The Indian Express)
About half an hour after lunch, Dinesh Chandimal stood at the crease in utter disbelief, muted to fathom how the ball had ricocheted off the flap of his pads to the short-leg fielder. He turned back and dragged himself to the pavilion, shaking his head and watching the replay on the television screen, even as the bowler, Kuldeep Yadav, whistled and howled. With Chandimal ended Sri Lanka’s faintest of faint hopes of stretching the match to the fourth day, nay third session of the third day. It was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
No change in the script (The Hindu)
Virat Kohli sat on the staircase, the India cap slung low over his head, his eyes focussed on his cellphone. The minutes ticked away and a Monday evening waned.
Inside the press-conference hall within the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium premises, Dinesh Chandimal was holding court in Sinhala, speaking in a sing-song manner, pausing often. It was a picture of a distressed host captain holding onto his dignity.
Team India have continued their outstanding form in the longest format of cricket, completing their first ever series clean sweep away from home, with a 3-0 win in Sri Lanka, on Monday. The hosts have been dismal throughout the series, failing to put up any serious challenge against Virat Kohli and co in all the three Test. Despite the lacklustre performance by Sri Lanka, the Indians deserve a lot of credit for keeping up the intensity throughout the series.
Cherish the old memories, Sri Lanka (ESPNCricinfo)
Cherish those memories, because what if nothing changes? Make sure to remember the night in Lahore, the afternoon at The Oval in 1998, those endless batting days at Asgiriya, and the irrepressible spin-bowling revelry at Galle.
There is real fear building. Not long from now, what if memories are all that remain?
As compared to those first two matches in Galle and Colombo, there was something different about this third Test on days one and two. You could finally hear that iconic Papare music flowing for the first time in this series as Saturday and Sunday rolled by. On Monday, they were gone again though, as Sri Lanka crashed to an innings defeat. Match wrapped up in less than three days.
Selectors put MS Dhoni on notice (The Times of India)
Yuvraj Singh has already lost his place in the Indian ODI team and the pressure is now squarely on another veteran, MS Dhoni, to retain his place. On Monday, chief selector MSK Prasad -while sticking to the usual line that Yuvraj had been “rested” and not “dropped” – was non-committal when asked if Dhoni would feature in India’s plans for the 2019 World Cup.
Prasad admitted that the days of Dhoni being automatically pencilled into the team sheet had gone. “We don’t say it is an automatic thing… but we will see. We are all stakeholders (in Indian cricket). We all want the Indian team to do well. If he is delivering, why not? If he is not, we will have to look at alternatives,” said the 42-year-old Prasad.
Piyush seeks transfer to Gujarat (Ahmedabad Mirror)
Piyush Chawla has sought NOC from Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to move to Gujarat for the coming domestic season. He has, otherwise, played only for Uttar Pradesh (226 wickets in 80 games) all his first class career. Chawla will join fellow Uttar Pradesh player RP Singh in Ahmedabad this Ranji Trophy season. A World Cup winner, the 28-year- old Chawla has 386 first class wickets in 117 matches at a strike rate of 61.8 but his recent showing in the Ranji Trophy has not been too good.
Out of ODI squad, R Ashwin’s 50-over career seems to be at crossroads (The Indian Express)
“For me, it’s always been standing on a knife’s edge. Most of the time when I have found myself out of the team, it has been because of one bad day or one bad match. I am not sure how many people sit out on the back of one bad match.” Astonishingly, that’s R Ashwin talking about his Test match career last month in an interview with Wisden India. Just imagine if the question had been about his ODI career.
In more ways than one, the 1983 World Cup marked the coming of age of Midnight’s Children. Half a century after India played their first Test, and just over a decade after the remarkable summer of 1971, which saw series wins over West Indies and England, Indian cricket was finally centre stage. It was a heady feeling, especially since Lord’s had also seen the nadir, the grisly Summer of 42 (all out) in 1974.
Peter Handscomb happy to keep wicket in Bangladesh (Sydney Morning Herald)
Peter Handscomb says he is happy to don the wicket-keeping gloves in Bangladesh if asked to do so, but maintains that batting is his first priority.
The Victorian batsman was the standout on day one of Australia’s intra-squad match in Darwin, which comes ahead of the two-Test series against the Tigers, beginning later this month.
Cricket allrounder Glenn Maxwell is hoping a change of technique will convince skipper Steve Smith to throw him the ball during Australia’s tour of Bangladesh.
Smith was criticised by predecessor Michael Clarke for his apparent reluctance to utilise Maxwell’s offspinners during Australia’s 2-1 series defeat in India earlier this year.
After replacing the injured Mitchell Marsh, Maxwell scored his maiden test century during the third test in Ranchi, but he was largely overlooked with the ball, delivering just four overs in India’s marathon first innings, which lasted 210 overs and paved the way for a draw.
Dilip Jajodia, the man responsible for providing the pink balls for England’s first day/night Test this week, is confident they will prove a success and considers scepticism about his new product ‘ill-informed’.
Jajodia is the managing director of Dukes, the long-tenured manufacturer of choice for the England and Wales Cricket Board, and has personally overseen his company’s part in bringing floodlit Tests to this country for the first time.
For a team that has always made a virtue of its unparalleled attention to detail, the first ever day-night Test match in England will pose new and unfamiliar problems. Playing five-day cricket under lights, with a pink ball, is a “step into the unknown”, as Stuart Broad put it on Monday. England held their first ever pink-ball practice session under the Edgbaston floodlights on Monday night. It will also be their last – at least, before the first Investec Test begins on Thursday. It is hard to recall a modern-day England side going into battle with so little preparation, so little idea of what to expect, taking such a leap of faith.
Cricket Ireland hail benefits of La Manga link-up (Independent.ie)
You still have to pinch yourself to make sure it actually happened.
Ireland produced one of the greatest shocks in cricket’s history by beating Pakistan in the World Cup on St Patrick’s Day 2007 amid unbelievable tension in Jamaica.
Led by their brilliant wicket-keeper batsman Niall O’Brien, Ireland reached a rain-adjusted target of 128 with three wickets remaining in near darkness to spark scenes of wild celebration. And, if Cricket Ireland has its way, glorious days like that will become commonplace.