Galle: Happy to have buried the ghosts of a humiliating loss here two years ago, India skipper Virat Kohli today described his team's massive 304-run win over Sri Lanka in the opening Test as a "clinical performance".
"We lost a Test we should have won in 2015. It depleted our confidence. But this time it was a clinical performance two years down the line," Kohli said at the presentation ceremony after India dismissed Sri Lanka for 245 on day 4 to lead the three-match series 1-0.
"We are an experienced team now, we played good cricket. All bases were covered and I'm really happy with the way things went in this Test," he added. The India skipper said it was a special win as the bowlers had to work really hard on a wicket that was not offering much help.
"The surface did not offer much, and that's why the win is special. Our bowlers had to create openings. It's an example of the skill they possess, and persistent pressure always pays. This wicket needed more hard work than the last wicket we played in Galle," Kohli said.
Shikhar Dhawan scored a superb 190 in the first innings in the absence of regular opener Lokesh Rahul, who missed the opening Test due to fever. Kohli said selecting the opening combination for the next Test was a happy headache to have.
"One regular opener is not fit...is a massive headache but a happy one. One will be left out, I guess in both scenarios guys will understand how the dynamics of the team works. It is good to have guys scoring runs," he said.
Talking about his unbeaten 103 in the second innings, Kohli said: "It was a situation where we had to capitalise and not waste too many deliveries. Abhinav (Mukund) batted well and he deserved a hundred."
Dhawan, who was adjudged the Man of the Match, said he enjoyed his batting and the competition for the opening slot is keeping him on his toes. "I really enjoyed batting over here. I just watched the ball and backed my game. There is a very healthy competition for the opening spot in the side, and it keeps me on my toes," he said.
Sri Lankan stand-in skipper Rangana Herath credited India for the win, saying they were outclassed in all three departments of the game. "It is a pretty good wicket, and the toss was not a factor.
Credit to the India team. We need improvement in all three departments. Asela's loss is huge." Asked about his injury, Herath, who didn't bat today as he had hurt his finger while bowling yesterday, said: "The finger is getting better. There is nothing on the scan. It was a previous fracture and I am sure it will get better." Meanwhile, Ravichandran Ashwin was given a special award for playing 50th Test....