Sunday, 22 October, 2017

Kuldeep Yadav roped in as India opt to bat : Pallekele Test

Virat Kohli India vs Sri Lanka 3rd Test LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI AFP Getty Images
Conrad Doyle | 12 August, 2017, 20:39

"We just want to get most advantage of the best batting conditions", Kohli said at the toss at the Pallekele International Stadium.

A win in the previous match meant, Kohli is now the only Indian captain to have won two straight Test series in Sri Lanka. Dhawan faced 123 balls in his knock and punished the home bowlers with 17 boundaries.

Dilruwan Perera was brushed away after an initial spell, and Chandimal stuck to Lakshan Sandakan, who was one of the three changes Sri Lanka made for this game, and Malinda Pushpakumara to prise out a wicket. Adding to it, India's last 100-plus opening partnership in an away match had come at Fatullah, when India were playing Bangladesh, back in June 2015. His first spell read 4-1-35-0. The ball pitched and turned just at the right time as Pujara edged to Angelo Mathews at first slip. Rahul was on 28.

India's Shikhar Dhawan, left, and Lokesh Rahul cheer each other during the first day's play of their third cricket test match against Sri Lanka in Pallekele, Sri Lanka, Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017.

It was against Australia, when the run of consecutive fifties began for Rahul.

Kusal Mendis Sri Lanka India vs Sri Lanka
Getty Images

Pushpakumara, who dropped short far too often at the SSC, bowled much fuller here, attacking the stumps and keeping batsmen guessing with his scrambled-seam delivery. A little more application from the Indian batsmen could have seen them truly pound their opposition to the ground, but the hosts weren't complaining.

Lakshan Sandakan is a bowler who could cause trouble for India's accomplished batsmen and the hosts will be hoping he can recapture his debut form. So we are certainly not thinking of too many changes at all, especially in this format because you don't want to start taking things for granted and lose that momentum. You would think they might turn to spin, but being without the services of Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal, they are left with Vishwa Fernando and Lahiru Kumara, both greenhorns. While Dhawan was edgy at the start, Rahul too had a lucky reprieve as Kumara dropped a hard catch.

It came about in the 36th over of their innings.

The continued pressure sustained by the left-arm orthodox and the left-arm unorthodox yielded positive results as Pujara was undone by a slider from Sandakan. Pujara departed for eight. Various reports are emerging that for the lone T20I, which is scheduled on September 06, Kohli could be rested.

But the joy in the Indian camp was shortlived as Pushpakumara struck again, this time to send back Dhawan for 119.

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