The first day of the third Test between India and Sri Lanka saw an even contest between bat and ball as the hosts scripted a stunning comeback to reduce India to 329/6 at the end of the day. Earlier, KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan gave India a solid start as they added 188 runs for the first wicket.
India continue to assert their authority over Sri Lanka
India stepped onto the pitch at Pallekele with the intention completing a clean sweep
Malinda Pushpakumara spins Sri Lanka back into the game
The second session of the day started just like the first as Dhawan and Rahul continued to score at a good run rate. However, there was literally a ‘turning point’ in the game when Lakshan Sandakan produced a delivery that spun sharply from Dhawan’s blade before another took the leading edge of Rahul’s bat. More importantly, that prompted Chandimal to introduce spin from both ends as Malinda Pushpakumara was brought into the attack. And it paid instant dividends as the 30-year old, who made his Test debut only in the last game, went onto scalp three quick wickets for the home side as he sent Dhawan, Rahul, and Cheteshwar Pujara back to the hut to lead Sri Lanka’s comeback into the game. However, what was most impressive about Pushpakumara’s spell was the way in which he managed to deceive the Indian batsmen who are known to be very good players of spin. Moreover, this was also the first time in the series that the Sri Lankan bowling had managed to trouble the otherwise dominant Indian batting lineup.
Kuldeep Yadav’s selection is the right decision going forward
The only change that India made to their side for the third and final Test was the inclusion of chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav as a replacement for the suspended Ravindra Jadeja. And though the youngster hasn’t bowled so far in the match, judging by the amount of turn that the two Sri Lankan spinners have managed to find on this track, Yadav will certainly enjoy bowling on the wicket at Pallekele. Keeping in mind that Yadav picked up four wickets on his Test debut against Australia in Dharamsala earlier this year and also performed exceedingly well on the recent tour of the West Indies where he picked up wickets on flat tracks in the Caribbean, he was a good option for Indian management to test the bench strength. Also, it’s a