India vs Sri Lanka – A series with little interest among fans

Giri Subramanian Roar Guru

By Giri Subramanian, Giri Subramanian is a Roar Guru

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    India takes on Sri Lanka for a full series starting with the Test series on the 16th of November.

    The series consists of three Tests, three ODIs and three T20’s. This is yet another series between two familiar opponents, which does not make sense due to the timing of the tour.

    India and Sri Lanka have played 86 times – 15 Tests, 60 ODIs and 11 T20’s – over the last ten years. This is the most India has played against any opposition, with Australia coming a close second with 77 games over the same period of time.

    This obviously includes the tri-series games and the other world tournaments the two teams have participated in.

    These teams play each other so often that the upcoming series is probably one of the least anticipated by the fans of both countries. India has just been to Sri Lanka for a full tour and this series, less than two months since the earlier one, is overkill.

    The fact Sri Lanka have stopped being competitive in Tests against India since 2010 has not added to the brand value of this matchup.

    In the last 15 Tests the teams have played each other India have won nine and Sri Lanka have won four.

    Sri Lanka is yet to win a Test in India and, going by their recent capitulation at home against the same opposition, it does not look good for the visitors this time around as well.

    Sri Lanka has struggled to compete in other formats against India as well. In the 71 times these two have met in the shorter formats India have won 46 to Sri Lanka’s 22.

    India tour South Africa later this year and it would have been prudent for the team to take a break from the non-stop cricket they have been playing. The tour seems to have been arranged without any planning and the series, which ends on December 24th, gives the team no rest before they fly off to South Africa.

    India will play a tour game on the 30th before starting the tour with the first Test on the fifth of January.

    With a schedule like that, no wonder captain Virat Kohli has requested for a break from the December leg of the Sri Lankan series.

    Coming back to the cricket itself, the Indian team does not have any surprises and the selectors have retained almost the same squad that played in Sri Lanka earlier this year.

    Murali Vijay, who missed quite a lot of cricket due to injury, makes his comeback to the Test side. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja also make a comeback after being dropped in the shorter formats.

    The pace bowling attack remains with Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma.

    It will be interesting to see who will open the batting for India. With Murali Vijay returning, India have to make a call as to who will open with him as KL Rahul has been phenomenal at the top for India over the last year or so while Shikhar Dhawan, since his comeback, has been brilliant as well.

    There is a milestone coming up though for Indian star spinner Ravichandran Ashwin as he is just eight short of 300 Test wickets. He is also in line to become the fastest bowler ever to get there.

    So, there is something to hold the interest of the Indian fans during this series.

    BCCI and the Sri Lankan cricket board have a very cordial relationship, which might be the reason for the excessive amount of games played between the two sides.

    Even though the fans of both countries aren’t very thrilled about these games, the boards of the two countries are, for sure, laughing all the way to the bank.

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    The Crowd Says (15)

    • November 10th 2017 @ 3:19am
      guru murthy said | November 10th 2017 @ 3:19am | ! Report

      Ever since the retirement of the likes of Sangakkara and Jayawardene , SL seem to have hit rock bottom . They seem to have had too many changes in their team over the last few months . Even though Sri Lanka managed to beat Pakistan in UAE .
      Indian team is good enough to whitewash SL team again in the upcoming test series .
      The likes of Rahane and Rahul didn’t get to play in the series against New Zealand .
      In a way ,the upcoming series might be good for the likes of Rahul ,vijay and rahane to get some match practice before the tour of South Africa provided they do not get to play the one day and T20 matches against Sri Lanka before the tour of South Africa .
      Indian team seem to have separate bowling attack for the test format , the likes of Shami and Yadav and Ashwin will also get some decent match practice .
      This series would just be one of those series ,where fans would just check the score on an cricket app instead of watching the series on television.

      • Roar Guru

        November 10th 2017 @ 8:54am
        Giri Subramanian said | November 10th 2017 @ 8:54am | ! Report

        Agree, it does have it’s benefits but again Indian first class season is going on and Murali Vijay is already playing for TN. The most important thing for India is not to over bowl any of the pace bowlers and get them injured. Shami and Umesh are crucial for India’s chances in South Africa. Test cricket is already suffering and a series like this isn’t doing it any favours.

    • Roar Rookie

      November 10th 2017 @ 3:49am
      savage said | November 10th 2017 @ 3:49am | ! Report

      Few months ago,I raised same questions which you’ve raised in this article.After Nov-Dec,India would have played their 8th series against Sri lanka in last 3 years(which include 3 odi,3 test and 2 t20 series).Scheduling has been poor from BCCI.Also,now we are having 6(instead of 5) match odi series and 3(instead of 4) match test series in South africa.

      • Roar Guru

        November 10th 2017 @ 8:56am
        Giri Subramanian said | November 10th 2017 @ 8:56am | ! Report

        Yeah BCCI cut short the SA tour for this tour at home. Does not make sense to me. We just had a series against SL and this one right after it is stupid. BCCI seems to be only worried about money.

        • November 10th 2017 @ 9:28am
          paul said | November 10th 2017 @ 9:28am | ! Report

          I think the BCCI is also concerned about India’s reputation as the premier cricketing nation, Giri. They play so few games these days away from India and these are mostly against sides they should beat easily. South Africa will be a significant challenge in all facets of the game. I believe the BCCI is thinking, if we build up enough rating points against Sri Lanka, we can afford to lose games in South Africa and still maintain our number one ranking.

          The new Test championship will be a rude shock to the BCCI, if they are thinking this way. It will also be a shock to the players if they don’t get some game time in conditions other than in India, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka.

          • Roar Guru

            November 10th 2017 @ 9:47am
            Giri Subramanian said | November 10th 2017 @ 9:47am | ! Report

            The series against SL is a banana skin for the Indian team. Even though winning the series will not give them too many rating points as SL is so lowly ranked, a loss would be disastrous for India. The series in unnecessary. The Indian team did have a round of overseas games between 2013-2015 where they toured, South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia but since then their only overseas tours have been to Sri Lanka (2), Bangladesh (Just 1 test) and West Indies. It is funny that we have already played two series against SL in the last 2 years and this will be the third one.

        • November 11th 2017 @ 7:46pm
          Guru murthy said | November 11th 2017 @ 7:46pm | ! Report

          India playing Sri Lanka is inconsequential for the growth of Indian cricket .
          Whether India plays Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka or at home is not significant for the fans as well .
          The South Africa tour should not have been cut short .
          Indian team fans deserve to see their team play against the best teams in the world .
          It is completely unacceptable that we don’t get to see India play 4 test matches against SA.
          The fact that Indian team has improved immensely in the bowling department over the last year or so would have made the series against South Africa even more interesting for the fans to follow the series .

    • November 10th 2017 @ 9:23am
      spruce moose said | November 10th 2017 @ 9:23am | ! Report

      I honestly thought India and Sri Lanka played each other more in the last 10 years.

      86 matches was surprisingly low in my mind.

      • Roar Guru

        November 10th 2017 @ 9:41am
        Giri Subramanian said | November 10th 2017 @ 9:41am | ! Report

        yeah I was little shocked at the number as well. They also played only 15 tests during that time. But again India and SL play only 3 test series, so that accounts to 5 series overall. The ODI numbers were little surprising, I am thinking probably the numbers increased in the last 3-4 years.

    • November 10th 2017 @ 4:00pm
      guru murthy said | November 10th 2017 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

      Back in 2011 , When Indian team had probably the best batting line up with the likes of Tendulkar , Dravid and Laxman , That was the probably the first time , A team from subcontinent was considered favourites to win a series in England and yet Indian team were white washed by the poms .
      After that India went to play couple of series at home before the tour of Australia . Despite the horrible result of India tour of England , India were again considered favourites to win a series in Australia but they performed miserably .
      Now Ajinkya Rahane claims that Indian team can dominate in overseas .
      On paper Indian team may have all the bases covered , and one area where the Indian team has improved immensely is the bowling department, Having said that , It remains to be seen whether Indian team can perform well in overseas , but they are capable of performing well in overseas just like the Indian team in 2011 .
      It’s important that a player should not get carried away by the success against mediocre teams and make a statement about dominating in overseas .
      If a team from subcontinent managed to win a series in overseas, that would be incredible for test cricket but it takes a special effort from the team to do so .
      You should always let your performance do the talking !

    • Roar Rookie

      November 10th 2017 @ 7:34pm
      Cric Whizz said | November 10th 2017 @ 7:34pm | ! Report

      This is a time to try out young players. Give Dhoni a break and give Dinesh Karthik or Rishabh Pant an extended run to see where he can fit it.

    • November 10th 2017 @ 8:45pm
      John Erichsen said | November 10th 2017 @ 8:45pm | ! Report

      Very few are interested because it seems like India play Sri Lanka every other week. On a more serious note, since finishing the test series in Australia in early 2015, eight of India’s nine test series have been on the subcontinent. The only away series was against the West Indies, and everybody knows how terrible the West Indies have been in recent years. It does make you wonder how good India really are away from their favoured low and slow pitch conditions. The answer – Nobody knows but they went down 2- nil in Australia, with 2 draws. They never looked like winning a match in the series, struggling to put pressure on the Aussie batsmen, which is exemplified in the following- Australian bowlers took 73 Indian wickets for the series while the Indian attack took only 58. The Indian batsmen performed well on what were batting-friendly pitches. Great teams perform well away from home. The West Indies in the 80’s. The Australians late 90’s early 2000’s. India cant be considered great until they play away from home conditions considerably more often than one in nine test series. Of course, to be fair, the three test series prior to the Australian tour were away from home, where India lost to South Africa, New Zealand, England and then Australia. Four consecutive series losses… Gee, I wonder why the BCCI schedule so many series in the subcontinent. It’s a mystery alright.

      • Roar Rookie

        November 11th 2017 @ 8:11am
        Cric Whizz said | November 11th 2017 @ 8:11am | ! Report

        The BCCI has a very good relationship with the Sri Lankan board, which is managing a team that is unable to generate buzz amongst their own fans. In an effort to rescue, or rather aid the SLC through this tough time, the BCCI has decided to have another series against Sri Lanka.

        • November 11th 2017 @ 1:26pm
          John Erichsen said | November 11th 2017 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

          Sounds like a win/win then. Sri Lankan cricket gets rescued and India don’t have to face conditions they don’t do well in. Very convenient. However the massive crowds for last year’s series against Australia doesn’t really align with your reasoning.

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