India vs Sri Lanka: Visitors need early breakthroughs, sustained pressure on Day 4 to end hosts' revival

A couple of early wickets followed by sustained pressure are all that India need to bring the odds strongly back in their favour again on Day 4 of the 2nd Test against Sri Lanka.

FP Sports, Aug, 05 2017

Kusal Mendis and Dimuth Karunaratne stole Ravichandran Ashwin's thunder on Saturday as Day 3 of the second Test between India and Sri Lanka witnessed the hosts put up a terrific fight to keep themselves afloat in the ongoing series.

Resuming from their overnight score of 50/2, the Indians ran through Sri Lanka's batting order to bundle them out before lunch, with the hosts losing eight wickets in the first session. Leading off-spinner Ashwin finished with figures of 5/69 in the innings — his 26th five-wicket haul in Tests, only behind Anil Kumble's 35 — as skipper Virat Kohli decided to enforce follow on. With Upul Tharanga getting dismissed cheaply in the second innings, the Indians would have imagined wrapping the match up, as well as sealing the series, on Day 3 itself.

Ravichandran Ashwin finished with 5/69 in Sri Lanka's first innings on Day 3, and remained wicketless for the remainder of the day. AP

Ravichandran Ashwin finished with 5/69 in Sri Lanka's first innings, and remained wicketless for the rest of Day 3. AP

However, Mendis and Karunaratne mixed caution with aggression to great effect post Tharanga's dismissal, and put up a resolute partnership that has helped bring the Sri Lankans back on their feet. The duo did not hesitate in milking the Indian bowlers, especially spinners Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, for runs as they went on to add 191 for the second wicket, with Mendis bringing up his third Test century, using the sweep shot to great effect before finally getting dismissed by Hardik Pandya shortly before the close of play. The sight of a harrowed Kohli has been a rare one in the series so far, and that was his defining mood on the day.

As inspirational as the Sri Lankan fightback might be, the game is still in India's grasp at the moment. The prospect of an early wicket on Day 4 triggering yet another collapse will be in the back of Kohli's mind when he takes to the field along with his team mates on the fourth day. With the lead worth a solid 230 at the moment, a couple of early wickets followed by sustained pressure is all that the Indians need to bring the odds strongly back in their favour again.

Published Date: Aug 05, 2017 | Updated Date: Aug 05, 2017




Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4969 124
2 South Africa 3767 111
3 England 4497 105
4 New Zealand 3489 100
5 Australia 3294 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 6386 120
2 India 6412 119
3 Australia 5948 114
4 England 6156 114
5 New Zealand 5432 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 2843 124
2 New Zealand 1925 120
3 West Indies 2395 120
4 England 2029 119
5 India 2965 119