Sandip G

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Jaffna dreams, peacefully
Fri, Aug 18, 2017

His sleepy eyes then bumble on a skinny cow grazing into the centre of the ground. He nonchalantly walks up to it, pulls it by the rope on the neck and ties it to the pole of a goalpost, before returning to the chamber and washing his eyes with water to be more vigilant of intruders.

India vs Sri Lanka: Teardrop island’s sob story
Wed, Aug 16, 2017

Despite a deep-rooted cricket culture, Sri Lanka faces a severe crisis and rebuilding will begin by finding a stable captain-coach combination.

India vs Sri Lanka: Day 3 captures just how far Sri Lanka have fallen
Tue, Aug 15, 2017

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.

India vs Sri Lanka: A happy India day for Virat Kohli’s men
Tue, Aug 15, 2017

Virat Kohli and company ticked a few boxes as they whitewashed Sri Lanka with an innings-and-171-run victory at Pallekele.

Mohammed Shami softens Sri Lanka up, spinners benefit
Mon, Aug 14, 2017

Mohammed Shami might, at times, looks chagrined, like when a fielders drops a sitter. But you seldom spot him scowling or stare at batsmen, let alone spew expletives, he doesn’t even stare back at them. So much so that he’s an anachronism.

Kandy crush: Hardik Pandya deflates Sri Lanka, Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav swoop in
Mon, Aug 14, 2017

Hardik Pandya deflates Sri Lanka with an 86-ball hundred as India post 487 in their first innings before Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav swoop in to make Sri Lanka follow on with lead of 352 runs in third Test.

India vs Sri Lanka: Spoke in the juggernaut wheel
Sun, Aug 13, 2017

Sri Lanka stage fightback after India laid a solid platform thanks to a record KL Rahul-Shikhar Dhawan opening stand of 188 runs. The hosts enjoyed their best day of the series by restricting India to 329 for 6.

India turn to the Chinaman
Sat, Aug 12, 2017

Kuldeep Yadav is expected to in the playing XI for the third Test that will miss ICC's top-ranked bowler Ravindra Jadeja and being the second-spinner in the dead-rubber Test in Pallekele makes things easy for the 22-year-old from Kanpur.

With Ranagana Herath on his last legs, Sri Lanka stare at an empty spin cupboard
Sat, Aug 12, 2017

Rangana Herath's wear and tear is understandable, for since Muttaih Muralitharan’s retirement, he has missed just two Tests—once when he was dropped against Pakistan in 2015 for lack of form and before that against New Zealand when he sustained a leg injury.

India’s underappreciated sweat equity
Fri, Aug 11, 2017

Sri Lanka haven't put up much resistance in the Test series, and often India’s biggest — yet understated — challenge has been the heat and humidity and the sights of Kandy, the venue for the third Test, would please Virat Kohli and his men.

Inside Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Mystery: Left handed Lasith Malinga
Thu, Aug 10, 2017

A left-handed Lasith Malinga and a much-refined version of Ajantha Mendis are ready to roll out of the the Max Cricket Academy that nurtures the ‘unusual’. So treasured they seem to be that shooting videos by outsiders is prohibited.

Finding the next Sri Lankan captain
Wed, Aug 09, 2017

Kusal Mendis is relatively new to international cricket, but seems destined for great things, as his background and exploits suggest. Kumar Sangakkara had already announced that Mendis is not just his heir apparent but already his heir.

India vs Sri Lanka: Merits and ‘demerits’ of Ravindra Jadeja’s suspension
Tue, Aug 08, 2017

Implemented from October last year, players will be slapped with demerits points if they breach the ICC's code of conduct. Punishments, usually fines, will remain for minor offences such as showing dissent and using obscene language.

India vs Sri Lanka: Tillakaratne Dilshan – the outsider who became a batting elite
Tue, Aug 08, 2017

Tillakaratne Dilshan recalls his humble beginnings, his struggle to get selectors’ attention and the origin of his trademark Dilscoop. Dilshan remembers a breezy IPL evening. It was at Cape Town in 2009.

India vs Sri Lanka, 2nd Test: Even in defeat, Sri Lanka show ingenuity
Mon, Aug 07, 2017

Ravindra Jadeja bagged his ninth five-wicket haul in Test to help India crush Sri Lanka by an innings and 53 runs in the second Test and secure the three-match series 2-0 with a match to be played.

India vs Sri Lanka, 2nd Test: Death, taxes and Ravindra Jadeja
Mon, Aug 07, 2017

On a rapidly deteriorating SSC pitch, the left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja broke through Sri Lanka’s resistance to give India Test and series victory in Colombo. He bowled 23 overs on the fourth day and prised out five wickets.

India vs Sri Lanka: After collapse, Sri Lanka grow spine
Sun, Aug 06, 2017

Kusal Mendis-Dimuth Karunaratne stand worth 191 runs helps Sri Lanka fightback and reach 209 for 2 at stumps on day three after being asked to follow on by India as they bowled out the hosts for 183 in first innings and took 439-run lead.

At the SSC, old man Rangana Herath all at sea
Sat, Aug 05, 2017

India has been a strange series for Rangana Herath, wherein he had looked not only bland but also troubled, treated around like a muck-as-any spinner, with disdain and not with the respect his age and achievements command.

R Ashwin leaves Sri Lanka ashen-faced
Sat, Aug 05, 2017

R Ashwin picks up two wickets before close of play on day two to reduce Sri Lanka to 50 for 2 after India declared their first innings at 622 for 9 with six batsmen hitting half-centuries or more, only the second time in away Tests.

In his 50th Test, Cheteshwar Pujara knocks on the door of the pantheon
Fri, Aug 04, 2017

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane scored centuries and shared an unbroken 211-run partnership as a dominant India ended the first day on 344/3. He became the second visiting batsman after Sachin Tendulkar to record three hundred in successive Tests in Sri Lanka.

Partnership firm: Cheteshwar Pujara & Ajinkya Rahane
Fri, Aug 04, 2017

Cheteshwar Pujara-Ajinkya Rahane unbeaten stand worth 211 took India to a formidable 344 for three on Day One of the second Test at Colombo. Both batsmen remained unbeaten at stumps and were already past the three-figure mark.

Upul Chandana: From buying wickets to selling sports goods, a leggie takes a new turn
Thu, Aug 03, 2017

Upul Chandana’s cricket shop, which goes by the same name, is located inside Nondescripts Club but as opposed to what the name suggests, it also sells table tennis racquets, jogging shoes and tennis balls.

India vs Sri Lanka: Mystery, turner from Sri Lanka for second Test
Thu, Aug 03, 2017

Sri Lanka, playing the must-win second Test against India at Colombo, may bring in the chinaman bowler Lakshan Sandakan as the wicket, which had a grass covering until Wednesday, was turned into a spin-friendly wicket by removing the grass.

India vs Sri Lanka: Like in his playing days, coach Chaminda Vaas remains as diligent as ever
Wed, Aug 02, 2017

Even before he decided to retire from international cricket, in 2009, Chaminda Vaas had made up his mind that he would embark on a coaching career, not necessarily as a post-retirement source of income, but the urge to be involved with the game.

India vs Sri Lanka: Ravi Shastri talks up his boys
Wed, Aug 02, 2017

Ravi Shastri claims Virat Kohli’s young team is more successful than other Indian touring parties, which consisted some of the biggest names in world cricket, to Sri Lanka.

India vs Sri Lanka: Galle to Colombo, a train ride that’s more about journey than destination
Tue, Aug 01, 2017

As the Colombo-bound express train arrives at the platform, the sleepy station suddenly wakes up into a jumble of multicoloured rucksacks and trolleys, a few hundred limbs in a teeming hurry to hop inside the train.

India vs Sri Lanka: In Sri Lanka, talk about everything but pitch
Tue, Aug 01, 2017

Panned for poor wickets during the Australia series last year, wary Lankan groundsmen now talk about everything but pitch. “No, no, please don’t ask anything about the pitch. And stay away from the ground, you don’t have pitch access.”

India vs Sri Lanka: A town awaits its poster boy Lasith Malinga
Mon, Jul 31, 2017

Lasith Malinga, though, was a bright student and good at maths. She enrolled him in reputed college, the Mahinda College and wanted him to work in a bank, like her. But little did the unsuspecting mother know that the college also encouraged cricket and he was sketching a different career plan.

Spinning a Web: Struggling to reap rewards, R Ashwin finds a way
Sun, Jul 30, 2017

R Ashwin started by trying to set the batsman up with a few full deliveries outside the off-stump, bringing the batsman forward and then slipping in the straighter one/doosra but suddenly he bowled one slower through the air, fuller and luring the batsman to the drive.

India register big-daddy win against Sri Lanka
Sun, Jul 30, 2017

India thrash Sri Lanka by 304 runs to post their biggest win overseas in terms of runs and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Set a target of 550 runs for a win, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 245 in the second innings to lose.

Beyond The Boundary: Cricket soothing war wounds at Galle
Sat, Jul 29, 2017

All Nipuna Vijayasena, a staff sergeant of the Sri Lankan Army, remembers is the heavy sound of a hundred crackers bursting at the same time. He and his battalion were ambushing an LTTE camp in Kilinochchi, the war-bed of the Tamil rebellion in 2009, months before the LTTE chief Velupiillai Prabhakaran was killed and the civil war ended.

India vs Sri Lanka Test, 1st Test: Abhinav Mukund gets a lifeline at Galle
Sat, Jul 29, 2017

Abhinav Mukund was something of a prodigy in his early days, billed to represent Tamil Nadu, but remained in the fringes forever, content turning up for the minnow club, where he was fondly called “Mukka”.

India vs Sri Lanka: Hardik Pandya’s smooth transition from white ball to whites
Fri, Jul 28, 2017

On the morning of the Test, after Ravi Shastri fitted the blue cap over his blonde streaks, he proudly tugged at the logo, showing the number stitched beneath it 289. A childhood dream was thus realised after several years of struggle, through sheer talent and courage.

India vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test Day 2: Between Sri Lanka & India, gulf as wide as Palk Strait
Fri, Jul 28, 2017

While Virat Kohli and his men have been clinical in Galle, the home team’s performance — 154/5 in reply to visitors’ first-innings score of 600 — has been abysmal.

India vs Sri Lanka 1st Test: Batsmen ensure India enjoy perfect day by the sea
Thu, Jul 27, 2017

Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, after extending India's score to 399/3, retreated to the pavilion content and laughing, sustaining the dominance Dhawan had asserted until he perished an over before tea.

India vs Sri Lanka: The one and only Shikhar Dhawan
Thu, Jul 27, 2017

Shikhar Dhawan admitted it was the lack of turn that encouraged him to step out than any concerted plan. But it also neutralised Sri Lankan spinners’ ploy to make him play the cut as often as possible and induce an edge to the keeper.