India vs Sri Lanka |Talking Points from Day 4

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India vs Sri Lanka |Talking Points from Day 4

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Subhayan Dutta

12/05/2017

India declared on 246/5 in their second innings, riding on quick fifties by Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma after Pujara and Shikhar Dhawan’s 77-run partnership provided an assuring start. Sri Lanka, in response, lost three quick wickets to Jadeja and Shami for 31 runs chasing a target of 410 runs.

Brief Scores : India 536/7 & 246 (Shikhar Dhawan 69, Rohit Sharma 67; Dhananjaya de Silva 1/31, P Gamage 1/48) lead Sri Lanka 356/9 & 31/3 (Dhananjaya de Silva 13*, Dimuth Karunaratne 12; R Jadeja 2/5, Mohammed Shami 1/8) by 379 runs.

Sri Lanka players struggle to breathe, again

Sri Lanka players maintained their stand on Kotla’s poor air condition on Tuesday, when they came out to field in the second innings wearing masks, again. Despite the Indian management repeatedly stating that the air quality wasn’t unsuitable on Day 2, citing their own players’ relative ease on the field, Sri Lankans have continued to struggle. Earlier, it was reported that the players had vomited in the dressing room on Sunday, and after the ‘oxygen things’ were used, there were only ten fit and able cricketers to go out in the pollution again. It happened again today when Lakmal was seen vomiting on the ground in between his over and was finally taken off.

The atmosphere inside the ground has been hazy throughout the match, and it was jeopardizing for the pacers. While Lahiru Gamage finished Lakmal’s over that had one ball left, Dasun Shanaka took his place. Though Lakmal returned after the drinks in the eleventh over, Gamage walked off this time for another breather. With no more international games scheduled in the capital city in 2017, Delhi is definitely coming under the scanner now. However, one of the more interesting debates would be, how Virat Kohli and company coped with the poisonous air that worked as a kryptonite for Sri Lanka. Are we that used to high levels of pollution?

Ajinkya Rahane out of chances high and fast

Situations were almost perfect on Tuesday for Ajinkya Rahane to get his batting mojo back. India had lost an early wicket in Murali Vijay and the side had decided to play Rahane up the order to keep the run rate rolling at a steady rate. However, the batsman bottled things up yet again as he could only make 10 runs in 37 balls.

After the squad for the South African tour was announced last night, Rahane should have been a happy and relieved man given the way things have panned out for the Mumbai batsman in the last three games against Sri Lanka. The middle-order batsman could score only seven runs in the last four innings, surviving just 25 balls against the current Sri Lankan side. On Tuesday, he hardly managed to add any more to his tally, keeping the management in conundrums over India’s middle-order batting in South Africa.

Rahane’s away average of 69.66 in South Africa and 53.44 overall, which is better than most Indian batsmen, are the only things batting for him at the moment, but his confidence might prove to be lethal when he faces the likes of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada.

India’s confidence looked shaken after Sri Lanka’s solid first innings

After the numerous pauses in the first innings and the terrible display in previous games, no one expected the Sri Lankan batsman to have such a robust response to India’s mammoth 536-run lead in the first innings. And it definitely worked for the visitors as India didn’t look very confident either while deciding the target for their opponents in the second innings.

With a 163-run lead already on the board, many expected India to leave Sri Lanka with a target of 320-350 for the final day. But, Kohli signaled his boys to come off only after the lead was well over 400 with him and Rohit Sharma finishing their half-centuries. With 119 overs to go in the game and the pitch showing no signs of danger for the batsmen, Sri Lanka would hope to see off Indian bowlers if not go all out for the target of 410, especially after the assuring displays with the bat by Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal in the first innings, if they don’t go for another disastrous collapse. A draw from this stage would be an immensely helpful for Sri Lanka in reinjecting some confidence in the team that has looks like a pale shadow of the legends of the past.

How many dismissals will Dhoni be involved in?

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