India reach 329/6 at stumps vs Sri Lanka

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 13, 2017

On a surface ideal for batting, India's openers picked up boundaries at will and made Sri Lanka pay for their profligacy with Dhawan given a reprieve on one, his edge flying through the slip cordon off left-arm seamer Vishwa Fernando.

The third Test is only a prestige battle for Sri Lanka as India have already won the series.

Incoming batsman Kuldeep Yadav (26), who was drafted in the team in place to Ravindra Jadeja, showed his temperament and forged a 62-run partnership with the Baroda player and helped India to cross 400-run mark.

Pandya then struck a body blow with the ball as well trapping Angelo Mathews (0) lbw in the 10th over as Lanka were reduced to 38 for 4. Sandakan, Kumara, and Fernando replaced Herath, Pradeep, and Dhanjaya de Silva.

This, though, delves into a larger debate as to where Test cricket is really heading, and is down to obvious politicking.

On day one, Shikhar Dhawan (119) and KL Rahul (85) put on the highest opening stand of 188 runs on Lankan soil before losing their way towards the end. Dhawan was particularly dominant, consistently maintaining a strike rate of more than a run per ball.

"He said: "[Sandakan] is very nice, he was turning the ball; one odd ball was turning a lot.

Both batsmen raised their half centuries as India reached 100 in only the 18th over. The Lankans missed a great opportunity to dismiss Rahul in his 50s, letting a catch in the slips go past. Gundappa Viswanath and Rahul Dravid are the other two Indians with most consecutive fifties in Test cricket.

On a day when India's batsmen found ways to get out despite the pitch playing well and the bowling not being anything special, Dhawan had a ready answer. Pujara departed too, looking shaky and unable to read the slower bowlers in the 33 balls he faced. Sandakan had earlier prised out Cheteshwar Pujara (8) for a rare low score.

"We were just playing our shots and got out".

Left-arm wrist spinner Sandakan's wickets included Indiancaptain Virat Kohli for 42.

As a result, he would be missing the third and final against Sri Lanka starting tomorrow (12). Remember, there is no Jadeja. The interval was duly pushed back by half an hour, and Pandya went on to dominate an unbroken tenth-wicket stand of 66, racing from 50 off 61 balls to 108 off 93, with the No. 11 Umesh Yadav scoring 3 off 14 in that time.

The hosts did not use Malinda Pushpakumara's left-arm orthodox before lunch, but tried Lakshan Sandakan's left-arm wristspin for a couple of overs.

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