Sri Lankan cricket is going through a horrific phase. They lost the first two Tests against India with a massive margin and have also lost their four crucial players due to injuries.
The third Test which is a dead-rubber as India has already pocketed the series is set to begin on Saturday but it seems that there is little that can inspire the hosts for the Test.
So far in this series, India has scored 1440 runs in three innings (65.45 runs per wicket) while the hosts have managed to accumulate only 1,105 runs in six innings (27.67 runs per wicket). Sri Lankan bowlers have claimed 22 wickets in 2065 balls (93.86 balls per wicket) while the visitors sent back 40 batsmen in 1931 balls (48.27 balls per wicket).
These stats are just the tip of the iceberg which reflects the grave differences between the two sides.
However, everything is not gloomy and the hosts should derive inspiration from within as they have the capability to challenge India's dominance. Their resilience in the second innings of the second Test was the perfect example of their grit.
Here are the five positives that Sri Lanka can take into the third Test to improve their performance.
#5. Niroshan Dickwella's positive attitude
In the second innings of the first Test, Niroshan Dickwella came to bat when Sri Lanka was four down for 116 runs while chasing a target of 550 runs. Ravindra Jadeja had found his rhythm and was creating havoc on a pitch that offered him little assistance.
Dickwella though cared little about the hopeless situation and the dangerous bowler and batted in his natural style. He swept Jadeja on his very first ball and on the next ball played an authoritative drive.
Throughout the innings, he was beaten frequently but that didn't deter him from going for his shots. He scored 67 runs in that innings, Sri Lanka's highest individual score.
In the first innings of the second Test, he again launched a counterattack, the moment he walked to the crease and added 53 runs with Angelo Mathews off just 50 balls. In the same innings, he brought up his fifty in only 44 balls.
In the four innings in this Test series so far, Indian bowlers have completely outplayed the hosts with their probing and accurate bowling. But they haven't been able to counter Dickwella's aggression.
This positive attitude by Dickwella is a lesson for other Sri Lankan batsmen who have struggled against India's spinners.