Yadav has good chance of playing third Test: Kohli
13 August, 2017, 14:42 | Author: Joan Malone
Even though Sri Lanka did extremely well to restrict India's dominance on the first day of the third Test in Pallekele, the tourists still hold the advantage thanks to openers Shikhar Dhawan and Lokesh Rahul, who scored 119 and 85 respectively. At the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, openers Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul provided India with the flawless start, not losing their wicket till lunch of Day One. India is at 107 runs (19.4 overs).
Virat Kohli and his boys will be aiming for their first ever series whitewash in Sri Lanka when they take on the hosts in the third and the final Test at Pallekele, starting on Saturday. Rahul, who survived a dropped catch on 28, brought up his seventh consecutive Test 50 with a double off pacer Lahiru Kumara.
However, Kohli had been reaching out to play the spinners from his crease and ended up edging the ball to first slip off Sandakan in the 79th over. Before this Test, Rahul had six fifties and that meant he got ahead of the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sanjay Manjrekar and Navjot Sidhu, who all scored five straight half-centuries in their respective Test careers.
India elected to bat first after Kohli called correctly at the toss as they eye a series clean sweep after taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in Colombo last week.
Chameera meanwhile, last played a Test in South Africa previous year, but featured in four of the five ODIs against Zimbabwe - the series that Sri Lanka lost 2-3.
Ashwin also had to make the long walk towards the pavilion courtesy a superb catch by Niroshan Dickwella at second slip off Fernando's bowling. The bowlers and Pandya circled each other warily in this period; they knew of his hitting ability, he knew they knew, but for now he would bide his time. The ball has now rapped the pads a few times and went past the outside edge more than once.
At tea, Sri Lanka were reduced to 61 for 4 in 14 overs after Hardik Pandya smashed his maiden Test hundred to take India to a strong total.
Kohli and India toiled in the last session.
Both of them had half-lives given to them by Sri Lanka, but apart from that odd chance, they were thoroughly in control, with the home team's bowling attack struggling to cope with the onslaught, particularly from the blade of Dhawan.
For Sri Lanka, Pushpakumara scalped 3 wickets, while Sandakan took 2 wickets and Fernando one.
The aggressive Dhawan latched on to short stuff from the recalled Lahiru Kumara with some exquisite cuts, while Rahul pulled expertly and drove with elegance as India got off to an ominous start. Besides that, today the area of interest will be how India's own chinaman Kuldeep Yadav bowls on a pitch offering slow turn.
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