SSC Colombo, Sri Lanka: The second test match between India and Sri Lanka ended the way, curator has planned. The game ended in a tame draw. Unfortunately ICC rules permit only players from playing XI to be the man of the match. Despite being the home side captain, Sangakkara would not mind donating his Man of the Match award to the curator for hitting another nail in the already much questioned test match status by preparing a placid track.
Records were broken, personal milestones were achieved. But the draw imminent from the first day of the game did not make any of the team happy. In the five days there was no place for leather to compete against the willow. Bowlers did manage 17 wickets, but most of them were taken when batsmen played rash shot or got tired of batting. None of the wickets could be credited to the beauty of a delivery.
Such was the apathy shown by the curator for the bowlers. Probably, the curator in his youth wanted to pile up runs, failing to do so, wanted other batsmen folks to have a run feast. He succeeded. Bradmanesque records were broken. Two Bradman records were broken in one test. That must be a record on its own. Five batsmen scored centuries. Eight bowlers scored centuries. Two batsmen scored double century and even one bowler scored a double century.
Randiv, the Sri Lankan off spinner, on his debut created the record of conceding maximum runs by a debutant when he conceded 222 runs taking just 2 wickets. While another debutant Suresh Raina became the only Indian debutant to score a century against Sri Lanka. His century was well deserved, but with the dominating player he is in one days, he would have preferred more challenging bowling conditions.
In the end runs became immaterial in the game of run and wickets. Sangakkara decided to declare and end the game for a draw when he needed 8 more runs to score another half-century. But, even he could realise that it was not worth glorying himself, when his curator had prepared the funeral pyre of Test Matches.
In the end on 5th day, the last wicket pair of India, Ishant Sharma and Pragyan Ojha managed to play for more than an hour and help India reach their 2nd highest total ever of 707 runs. Both the teams could have accepted a draw. But ICC rules bind the teams to play till 1 hour after tea on last day before agreeing for a draw. So Sri Lanka completed the formality and scored 129 runs for the loss of 3 wickets. They took 45 overs to reach there, indicating their dislike for the dead pitch.
The teams now move to Galle for the third test match. India is in must-win situation to gain the equaliser in the series and also save Dhoni his first series defeat. Time will tell what the curator has in store. Whatever be the result, everyone would love to play a competitive game. Slogging 5 days on field knowing nothing can be achieved can be very dangerous in current era for test matches. Hope the Galle curator agrees to it.