5 occasions when India lost an overseas Test from a commanding position
Test Cricket is the ultimate challenge for a player as it is a test of endurance, temperament and physical capacity at the highest level. Sound technique, strong temperament, critical evaluation of the conditions and a high degree of athleticism are required to succeed in the longest format of the game. An overseas Test assignment is ever more challenging, with the players required to adapt to alien, hostile conditions and perform in front of an away crowd.
An overseas Test victory is extremely hard earned, as it requires a team to remain extremely vigilant and adaptive in terms of performance as well as team selection. It becomes essential to step up and seal a game, translating the prospects into chances or else the potential of a Test victory might fade away. The recently concluded series against England was a testimony of the same, wherein the series was fiercely competitive in stark contrast to the scoreline, but it hardly mattered, as the results on the paper dictated terms.
India have earned some iconic victories in the past against quality sides at their own backyards in the face of adverse circumstances. At the same time, the team has had a 'so close yet so far' saga on numerous occasions.
We take a look on the 5 occasions when India lost an overseas Test from a commanding position.
#5 India vs Sri Lanka, The Galle, 2015
India took on Sri Lanka at The Galle in the first Test match of the series, with Virat Kohli chasing his first Test win as captain. Winning the toss, Sri Lanka elected to bat first. Ravichandran Ashwin was at his lethal best, exploiting a purely subcontinental track to perfection, claiming 6 wickets in the process. The Sri Lankan innings was bundled for 183, with Angelo Mathhews and Dinesh Chandimal being the only batsmen to show some respite.
In reply, India amassed 375 runs on the board helped by the centuries of Shikhar Dhawan and captain Virat Kohli, racing away to a huge lead of 192 runs. The Sri Lankan top order failed again, with the team reeling at 95-5. At a point when many would have expected India to wrap up an innings win, but wicketkeeper batsman Dinesh Chandmal notched a glamorous 162, taking the attack back to the opposition. India were set a target of 176, which was never going to be easy, since the pitch had deteriorated, making it extremely difficult for batsmen in the final day.
Rangana Herath spun a vicious spin web around the Indian batsmen, extracting prodigious amount of turn from the track. Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane stayed in the crease for a brief period, however a 7-wicket haul by the left-arm spinner saw the Indian innings falter at 112, handing the Lankans an astonishing 63 run victory.