Pallekele: India couldn't have asked for a better start to a demanding season. In a country where overseas teams have struggled to assert themselves, they overwhelmed Sri Lanka in both the One-Day International series and in the one-off Twenty20 International, thereby not only gathering early momentum but also regaining some of the confidence that had taken a severe beating in the last year.
The season gone by was one of Indian cricket's most disheartening and disappointing. In 14 weeks in England, they didn't so much as threaten victory. On a tour of similar length of Australia, they managed just three wins in the triangular series. Both Test series were lost 0-4, the first costing them the No. 1 Test ranking. To make matters worse, India failed to qualify for the final of the Asia Cup in Dhaka. The euphoria of the World Cup triumph had well and truly evaporated, the bubble had burst.
It was, therefore, imperative for India to begin a new season, which encompasses ten Test matches at home and the World T20 in Sri Lanka next month, on a winning note. India have traditionally travelled well to Sri Lanka, especially for limited-overs cricket - they haven't lost a bilateral ODI series since 1997, though their last Test series win came in 1993 - and it was no different this time.