After getting bundled out for less than 200 on the third morning of the Colombo test, the Sri Lankan team put on a far better display following-on and got very close to denying India an innings win.
India, however, eventually secured the innings win and with that secured the series win as well, but, it was definitely Sri Lanka’s best batting performance in the whole series and they would now be a pretty confident batting unit going ahead.
It was not that the wicket changed too much and the turn and bounce disappeared all of a sudden when the Sri Lankans came in to bat the second time.
It was still turning and bouncing a fair bit, probably the pace of the wicket had reduced slightly, but, it had certainly not turned into the flattest wicket in the world to bat on.
But, the reason why the hosts succeeded in the second innings was because they used a different game plan.
While batting in the first innings, they had let the Indian spinners bowl their lengths, but, that’s not what they allowed in the second innings.
They, particularly their top order, swept a lot and they swept from different areas of the wicket. They were fetching deliveries from even outside the off stump and were sweeping them against the spin in front of square which was quite extraordinary.
And because they were sweeping so successfully, they made the Indian spinners tinker with their lengths and that created the opportunities for them to play other shots too which they had not been able to play in the first innings.
So it was just a better and a more positive game plan which got them results in the second innings and they would want to stick to this game plan in the last game of the series as well.