New Delhi: Thisara Perera knocks over Ishant Sharma and India are all out for 103 in the fifth match of the tri-series competition at Dambulla. Sri Lanka reach the victory target in 15.1 overs to inflict India's worst defeat in terms of balls to spare.
Not flattering for the number two ranked team in the world considering that they also went through the ignominy of being trounced by 200 runs in the first match of the tournament against New Zealand after being shot out for 88.
Two comprehensive thrashings sandwiched by a solitary win against the hosts by six wickets is anything but the ideal blue print for Team India with just about six months to go for the 2011 cricket World Cup. The Indians are in the process of experimenting with their playing eleven and there are still a few unanswered questions.
Having said that, none of the three teams have come to terms with the pitch at the Rangiri Dambulla international stadium.
New Zealand were bowled out for 192 in the second match of the competition and Sri Lanka just about got home on that occasion. In the third match the Lankans were bundled out for 170 which the Indians had no problems in chasing down.
Consistency has not really been the pattern for either of the sides and it is not beyond India to turn the tables when they take on the Black Caps in a couple of days time.
One also has to keep in mind that Dambulla is not hosting any of the matches of the World Cup. It is with good reason that such a decision has been taken and just a peek into the past provides the answer.
The inaugural one day international at Dambulla took place during the 2000-01 series when England toured the emerald isle. Batting first, the visitors were bowled out for 143 and the hosts reached the target in the 41st over for the loss of five wickets.
An ODI tournament involving Pakistan, New Zealand and the home team Sri Lanka was organized in early 2003. The Kiwis beat Pakistan in the final to lift the Cup as the hosts missed out on the party. It's worth pointing out that teams found it difficult to reach the 200 mark throughtout the competition.
Run feasts are not regular occurances at Dambulla and one seldom sees high scoring matches at this venue. The bat being dominated by the ball is not the norm in modern one day cricket, so Dambulla is not ideal as far as the future of one day internationals is concerned. Therefore, the Indian team's performance so far in the tri-series competition should not be delved into too much.