Not that it was totally unexpected, but one had to listen to it before believing what was going to happen. Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal confirmed at the toss of the second Test against India that his side will play three spinners and just a pacer. It was, of course, a risk which hurt the Island nation as the day progressed.
Rangana Herath bowled the second over of the day and it took Chandimal five balls to push mid-on back as Shikhar Dhawan tonked one to long-on boundary. That negative move underscored what was going to follow. Just like the Galle Test, the Indian batsmen scored at a breezy rate. There were hardly any hiccups. Out of the 90 overs that the hosts bowled, only seven were maidens. None of their bowlers could contain the visitors' run-flow and that is what they should look to fix on Day 2.
Chandimal's team need to build pressure from ball one. They could draw inspiration from the second day of the first Test, where they grabbed four wickets to bounce back into the game. It goes without saying that early wickets are a must but the Sri Lankan bowlers will have to be disciplined if they want sustain the pressure and peg India back.
What also adds to their worries is that Nuwan Pradeep, their only pacer in the match, walked off the ground due to hamstring issues. It still remains to be seen if that was just a cautionary move or Pradeep's involvement in the Test is, indeed, in danger.
If that is the case, other bowlers must take up responsibility. The second new ball is still 10 overs old and Dimuth Karunaratne, Chandimal's only other option besides spinners will have to step up and use the new cherry to the fullest advantage.