India vs Sri Lanka: Visitors need to get tactics spot on against in-form Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara on Day 3

Sri Lanka need to get their tactics spot on to claw their way back into the match after India dominated proceedings on the first two days.

FirstCricket Staff, Nov 26, 2017 07:15:55 IST

Like Day 1, India dominated proceedings against Sri Lanka on Day 2 of the second Test at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur. Murali Vijay, back in the side after missing the Sri Lanka tour due to injury, struck a 221-ball 128 and stitched a 209-run partnership with fellow centurion Cheteshwar Pujara. With skipper Virat Kohli and Pujara unbeaten on 54 and 121 respectively, India have a clear upper hand in Nagpur.

Sri Lanka's Dilruwan Perera, without cap, celebrates with teammates the dismissal of India's Ravindra Jadeja, right, during the fifth day of their first test cricket match in Kolkata, India, Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)

Sri Lanka's bowling attack need to get rid of Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara in the first hour to get back into the match. AP

With India losing the wicket of KL Rahul late on Day 1, Sri Lanka had the opportunity to pin India on the back foot on a green pitch but their bowlers failed to capitalise on the conditions. India made most of the poor Lankan bowling and managed to score 312 and built up a first innings lead of 107 runs. Kohli's arrival saw India pick up the pace in the third session and if things go according to plan on Sunday, the hosts would like to declare after tea with a handsome lead of 300 runs.

After a very good first hour, the Lankan bowlers lost the plot and were guilty of giving away easy runs to Vijay and Pujara. Kohli made most of their mistakes and scored a quickfire fifty.

Sri Lanka need to get rid of the settled Pujara and Kohli early in the morning and restrict India's lead to below 300. They need their top bowlers Suranga Lakmal, Rangana Herath and Lahiru Gamage to start firing. Despite the pitch not offering any help, Herath bowled well and accounted for the wicket of Vijay. The 39-year old has given away just 45 runs in 24 overs at a miserly economy rate of 1.87.

Lakmal needs to find the rhythm he possessed during the first Test at Kolkata. The pacer has failed to maintain his line and length and has often not bowled according to the field set-up. After the Kolkata Test, Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal conceded that Kohli turned the match around for India and put Sri Lanka on the back foot. Kohli has set the platform for another such innings and Sri Lanka need to ensure that Kohli is dismissed in the morning session.

With the pitch easing out, batting will become easier as the day goes on. The Lankan bowling attack need to frustrate the Indian batting line-up, preventing them from scoring quickly and delay the declaration as much as possible.

Sri Lanka were on top of their game at Kolkata and aided by rain and bad light, managed to get away with a draw. However, it doesn't look like they would get such help from nature in this match. The Sri Lankans need to get their tactics spot on to claw their way back into the match.

Updated Date: Nov 26, 2017 01:16:40 IST

World Cup 2019 Points Table

Team p w l nr pts
Australia 7 6 1 0 12
New Zealand 7 5 1 1 11
India 5 4 0 1 9
England 7 4 3 0 8
Bangladesh 7 3 3 1 7
Pakistan 7 3 3 1 7
Sri Lanka 6 2 2 2 6
West Indies 6 1 4 1 3
South Africa 7 1 5 1 3
Afghanistan 7 0 7 0 0

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5720 124
2 India 5990 122
3 New Zealand 4121 114
4 South Africa 4674 111
5 Australia 4805 109
6 Pakistan 4107 93
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254