Sri Lanka still looking for elusive Test win in India | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka still looking for elusive Test win in India

Michael Tissera (left) and Nawab of Pataudi during the toss at Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahemadabad
Michael Tissera (left) and Nawab of Pataudi during the toss at Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahemadabad

Sri Lanka who are looking for that elusive Test win in India, which they have never achieved since gaining full Test status in 1981 will have to undergo very stiff opposition against Virat Kohli and & C0. in all three formats of the game in the current series between the two countries.

It is certain that the Lankans will come across a gigantic task to avoid another ‘whitewash’ a familiar term these days with Sri Lanka’s dismal performances although winning a Test series against Pakistan in the UAE recently.

Sri Lanka has never beaten India in a Test match on Indian soil, the only occasion they did was in 1965 ,52 years hence when Micheal Tissera led a side and beat a fully fledged Indian team led by Mansur Ali Khan (Nawab Of Pattaudi) by 4 wickets in a three Test unofficial series.

It was Tissera’s astute leadership that gave this empathic victory in a low scoring four day game match effected by rain.

The first day was completely washed out by rain and the the second day began around 3.30pm at the Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad and the Indian captain Nawab Of Pataudi winning the toss elected to bat first surprising everyone on a rain effected wicket and were 51 for 3 after ninety minutes of batting.

On the third day India were restricted to 189 due to some fine fast bowling by Norton Frederick ( 4 for 85) and the off cutters by Stanley Jayasinghe (6 for 38 ) who broke the backbone of the Indian batting. Only Ramesh Saxena 63 n.o and skipper Pataudi 28 and Hanumant Singh 30 did something noteworthy while batting for India.

India hit back strongly through their pace bowlers during Ceylon’s first innings. Umesh Kulkarni ( 4 for 43) and C.K.Bhaskar ( 2 for 35) sent the bulk of the Ceylon batting reeling (6 for 57). But skipper Michael Tissera (28) , Dr. H.I.K.Fernando 38 n.o) and Anurudha Polonowita (53) stood firm bringing the score to 144 for 7 before Tissera closed the Ceylon Innings with a deficit of 45 runs. A shrewed move on a drying pitch. Indian batsmen were all at sea as the Ceylon bowlers stuck to their job admirably reducing India to 66 all out. Norton Fredrick , Stanley Jayasinghe the Leicestershire professional and Anurudha Plonowita took three wickets apiece with only two Indian batsmen entering double figures.

Ceylon was left to get 112 runs to win with ample time left. Abu Fuard and Mano Ponniah gave a reasonable start putting on 41 runs for the first wicket before Ponniah was stumped by Farookh Engineer off Venkatraghavan for 22.

Then a middle order collapse saw Ceylon losing five wickets for 98 runs with left arm leg spinner Rajinder Goel claiming the wickets of Abu Fuard, Jayasinghe, Neil Chanmugam, and wicket keeper H.I.K.Fernando with the score at 6 for 98. But sensible batting by Michael Tissera and Polonowita gave Ceylon their first ever win against India in India. The official Test series between India and Sri Lanka began in 1982/83 with a one off Test at Chepauk Stadium, Madras which ended in an exciting draw ,the sides were captained by Bandula Warnapura and Sunil Gavaskar. Sri Lanka last toured India in 2009 and lost the three Test series 0-2. In 1985 Sri Lanka beat India in Colombo under Duleep Mendis while Kapil Dev was the Indian captain. The countries have met in 40 Test matches and India has won 16 to Sri Lanka’s 5.