The series trialled a system of
referring decisions to the off-field umpire. Sri
Lanka were favourites, having just flown back home
after beating India in the
Asia Cup in Karachi,
and had uncovered a new leg-spinner Ajantha Mendis to partner Muralitharan.
The Indians lost by an innings
and 239 runs inside four days in the first Test at the SSC (where Mendis ran
through the side) but levelled the series with a 170-run win at Galle. Virender Sehwag’s
sensational double-century contributed a record 61 per cent of India’s runs.
For the first time in a
three-Test series in Sri Lanka
the visiting team did not play at the Asgiriya stadium in Kandy,
Saravanamuttu Stadium saw the decider. However, the tourists’ famed batting
line-up again let them down and Sri Lanka took the Test series
S Dhoni (on 7 July Dhoni pulled out of the three-Test series in Sri Lanka,
citing exhaustion after a non-stop season) ;Sreesanth (side strain).
Harbhajan Singh returned to international cricket after
completing his five-match ODI ban.
Tour Party Announced :8 July 2008.
Parthiv Patel, having last
played for India in
October 2004, was selected so he was unable to lead India A in the Emerging Players Tournament in Australia;
Suresh Raina replaced him.
Jaffer, Irfan Pathan, Piyush Chawla, Yuvraj Singh .
Limited-overs squad announced : 8 August 2008
Ishant Sharma was rested from the ODIs
in Sri Lanka
to be ready for the ICC Champions Trophy in September.
Sachin Tendulkar withdrew with an
elbow injury, and Badrinath took his place in the squad.
Time between selection and departure from India
(8 July - 15 July)
There was a seven-day camp for
the Test players in Bangalore.
The team assembled in Chennai on evening of Sunday 13 July for a day's further
practice before flying out to Colombo
on Tuesday 15 July.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC)
officials received Kumble’s men upon their arrival at the Bandaranaike International
Airport, Katunayake, about 30 km
north of Colombo,
and they were later escorted to a five-star hotel.
The one-day players flew from Bangalore on morning of Wed 13
August and arrived in Colombo that evening after 4 hours delay : Dhoni and
six others, Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan, Suresh Raina, Praveen Kumar and two
uncapped players, Delhi's Virat Kohli, the under-19 captain, and Tamil Nadu's
S Badrinath who was drafted in when Sachin Tendulkar sustained an injury to
his left elbow during the third Test. They arrived in Colombo on Wednesday evening.
carried his bat, scoring 201* out of 329 at Galle (Second Test)
•Harbhajan Singh and
Ishant Sharma turned in match-winning performances in Galle
Other first-class matches
§ One-day internationals
Gary Kirsten, India's coach, was granted leave by the BCCI
to travel to South Africa on
5 August to be with his mother who was critically ill but she died of cancer
in a Cape Town
hospital, aged 64.
Sachin Tendulkar, who was ruled out of the five-match ODI series
due to landing on his left elbow in the Test and was replaced (by Subramaniam
Badrinath) in the squad for the five ODIs, returned home on 12 August.
Dravid, Ganguly, Karthik, Kumble, Laxman and Sharma were not
required for the one-day series and returned home after the Test matches.
The ODI team flew home from Colombo
on 30 August. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and several members of the
victorious ODI team arrived in Chennai's Anna International terminal from Sri Lanka on
Saturday afternoon 30 August. They moved to the Kamaraj domestic airport to
board connecting flights. Harbhajan flew out of Chennai next day after
attending a function.