The first day of the third and the final Test match between India and Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo provided something that is rare on subcontinental pitches, a tinge of green, with the new ball doing most of the talking.
With the series tied at one apiece, it was evident from the 22-yard strip, the fast bowlers were required to help India take most of the 20 wickets. Ishant Sharma raised his hands and shouldered the bowling responsibility by taking eight wickets in the Test match to hand India their first series victory in Sri Lanka in 22 years.
The third Test match also saw a different Ishant Sharma, who had a five-for in the first innings and a three-wicket haul in the second innings.
The Delhi bowler was all fired up as he was involved in a spat with the Lankan fast bowler Dhammika Prasad, with some of the other Sri Lankan players getting involved as well. The spat, which took place while he was at the batting crease, seems to have been a blessing in disguise, as the lanky bowler came out all guns blazing in the fourth innings of the Test match to help bowl Sri Lanka out.
Virat Kohli, India's captain, was happy with the way things turned out in the middle as Ishant fashioned a victory for India.
"I was very happy with the incident when he was batting. It happened at the right time for us because we had to bowl and they made him angry. It couldn't have happened at a better time for us. And the timing was absolutely perfect and everything fell in place for us as far as being aggressive is concerned. [Look] at the way he bowled in the second innings...he didn't concede a boundary for 19 overs," said Kohli.
"I was very happy that he has an aggressive mindset. An angry fast bowler is a captain's delight. I was really happy to see what happened and it switched some things on in the right ways."
Though Kohli might have been pleased with his action on the field, the International Cricket Council have take the case very seriously as they have slapped a one Test match ban on Ishant, while Dinesh Chandimal has been handed a one ODI ban. While Prasad and Lahiru Thirimanne have been fined 50% of their match fees.
This is a huge setback for India, as the fast bowler will miss the first Test match against the touring South Africa side in November.