Ravindra Jadeja stood tall with his all-round brilliance as he followed up his unbeaten 175 with nine wickets in India’s innings and 222-run win against Sri Lanka in the match that ended inside three days.
After being bowled out for 174 in the first innings, Sri Lanka, who lost 16 wickets on the day, were dismissed for 178 in their second essay.
“It was a good start. It was a great game of cricket from our perspective. We ticked all the boxes we wanted to. To be honest I didn’t think it is going to be that kind of a Test match which would get over in three days.
“It was a good batting pitch, there was some turn and some assistance for the seamers as well,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“Lot of credit to the guys, they bowled very well in tandem, kept the pressure and never made it easier for the Sri Lanka batsmen. We just ensured we applied pressure from both ends.
“Good signs for India cricket. Lot of performances, landmark Test match for Virat (Kohli) and we wanted to come up out here and win the Test first and foremost. It was heartening to see such big individual performances,” he added.
Jadeja (175 not out, 5/41 and 4/46) made the match his own while Ravichandran Ashwin (4/47 in 21 overs) also had a satisfying run, replacing Kapil Dev (434 in 131 games) as India’s second highest wicket-taker with 436 victims. He is now only behind Anil Kumble’s 619 scalps.
Ashwin achieved the feat in his 85th Test match compared to Kapil’s 131 games.
Rohit became the second Indian captain to win his maiden Test in charge by an innings after Polly Umrigar, under whom India beat New Zealand by an innings and 27 runs in Mumbai in 1955-56.
Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne called on his batters to raise their game after suffering the humiliating defeat.
“We never thought it would finish by day three. The batters need to put their hands up and bat longer innings. When you are playing against India you have to capitalise on the starts, it was easy to bat on this track, once you get you have to score bi,” he said.
Karunaratne also took a dig at his bowlers, saying there is a need to strike a balance in the second Test in Bengaluru, a pink-ball game starting March 12.
“If we had bowled better then we could have restricted them. We were too defensive or too aggressive with the bat, need to get a balance between both by rotating the strike and that’s how you play a big innings.
“As a batting unit we have to put our hands up and score big. We did well for the first two sessions but could not execute when the ball got old and those are things we need to work on,” the Lankan skipper said.
Man of the Match Jadeja considers the PCA stadium as his lucky ground and said he never looks at the statistics while batting or bowling.
“I would say this is my lucky ground. Whenever I come here I get positive vibes. I was looking to build a partnership with Rishabh (Pant), give him the strike and enjoy his batting from the other end. To be honest I don’t know about any stat,” he said.
The Saurashtra all-rounder said the performance here has boosted his confidence immensely.
“Feeling very good, happy to score runs and pick wickets for the team. Obviously as a player you boost your confidence with such a performance. I have not done anything differently, just played to my strengths and I give myself time to settle down.
“I look to keep it very simple out in the middle. I haven’t played with the SG pink ball, so it is going to be different and I will practice for a couple of days, hopefully it comes good,” Jadeja concluded.