India vs Sri Lanka | Talking points from Day 3 of the second Test

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India vs Sri Lanka | Talking points from Day 3 of the second Test

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SportsCafe Desk


Day 3 of the Nagpur Test saw Virat Kohli scoring a double ton and Rohit Sharma getting a ton in typical fashion after Cheteshwar Pujara fell short of 150 by just seven runs. Sri Lanka are already a wicket down in response to the massive 405-run lead that India have, after Ishant Sharma struck early.

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 205/10 & 21/1 (D Karunaratne 11, L Thiramane 9; I Sharma 1/4) trail India 610/6 (Virat Kohli 213, Cheteshwar Pujara 143; D Perera 3/202, Rangana Herath 1/81) by 384 runs.

Will the world ever see someone better?

It seems like Virat Kohli getting dismissed for anything that is not creating a record would be abnormal now. The skipper has had a stellar 2017 and he continued his domineering streak against Sri Lanka in the Nagpur Test. His knock of 213 runs now puts him in fourth position on the list of most number of double hundreds by an Indian, where he is preceded by Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar. It also places him on the same pedestal as Brian Lara with the most number of double centuries by a captain in Tests.

Earlier in the day, his second consecutive century in the Test series also marked the most number of 100s scored in a year by a skipper, where he leapfrogged Ricky Ponting (nine centuries in 2005 and 2006) and Graeme Smith (nine centuries in 2005), which reflects rightly that the world is seeing such an indomitable batting performance after more than a decade. In ODIs, Kohli is now just one short of equaling Sourav Ganguly’s eleven centuries as a skipper.

However, one should also notice the amazing conversion rate in all of Kohli’s centuries. He has converted his fifties into hundreds 12 times from 16 such instances after taking the skipper’s cap, which is also the best figures among all the other 18 captains who has achieved the feat of scoring ten or more Test hundreds. Not even Bradman boasts of such conversion rate who did that only on 14 such instances.

Dilruwan Perera shows improvement though for a lost cause

With the pitch as dead as rubber and the Sri Lankan bowlers’ confidence wrapped up in a dark box somewhere deep down the earth, the visitors could hardly make a difference on the third day too. It was further made difficult by a well-settled Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli, who were scoring runs at will to ensure that Sri Lanka’s chances of winning remain as good as nil.

However, amidst the monotonous and one-directional play, under-fire bowler Dilruwan Perera provided some positives for the Lankans. After finishing the second day quite grimly, bowling 21 overs and conceding 117 runs with no maiden spells or wickets whatsoever, Sri Lanka's batting coach, Thilan Samaraweera had come in support of the bowler stating that it was unfortunate that the trio of Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Virat Kohli targeted him, but was confident that he would bounce back.

Perera did have a sort of comeback today where he conceded just 85 runs in 24 overs and took crucial wickets of Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, and Ravichandran Ashwin. He also bowled the most number of overs (45), relieving lot of pressure from Rangana Herath, although it was all for a lost cause as India had accumulated a lead of a mammoth 405 runs when they declared.

India likely to wrap up things tomorrow

There was hardly any doubt that India would fail to beat Sri Lanka and given how things have ended on the third day, the outcome is now crystal clear. Things went exactly as India had planned - not only did they manage to post a mammoth lead of 405 for the second innings, but also had more than ten overs in hand to inflict as much suffering as possible on a tiring Sri Lankan side that had been fielding for almost three days now.

Ishant Sharma provided the perfect start to the side as well when he scalped off Sadeera Samarawickrama’s wicket on the second ball of the first over. With Virat Kohli introducing Ashwin as early as the second over, Lahiru Thirimanne and Dimuth Karunaratne came dangerously close to getting dismissed on some occasions but eventually ended up surviving to fight another day.

However, with the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Umesh Yadav, who excel with the old ball in their hands, creating more pressure starting afresh tomorrow, Sri Lanka are very much likely to crumble and India not having to bat anymore in the match.

Lasith Malinga or Bhuvneshwar Kumar? Who will take more wickets?

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