India has produced some fantastic pace bowlers: Angelo Mathews

On a challenging wicket, the Sri Lankan batsmen have played their guts out, to edge closer to India's first innings total.

Angelo Mathews
Angelo Mathews. (Picture Source: Twitter)

Sri Lanka have the upper hand over hosts India in the opening Test of the 3-match series against the hosts at the Eden Gardens. The visitors, who chose to bowl first made the fullest use of the green pitch with right-arm seamer Suranga Lakmal returning with figures of 0/3 on the first day of the Test series. The Indian team had no answers to the heroic bowling performance from the Sri Lankan bowlers, losing their ten wickets for just 172 runs.

In reply, however, the Sri Lankan team began their innings on a pacy note against India’s sluggish one. At 29/0 in the 5th over, it looked like the Sri Lankan openers were running away with the match, before a swinging delivery from Bhuvaneshwar Kumar struck Karunaratne in front of the stumps as he offered no shot.


The pace trio

The right-arm seamer struck again, with an out-swinger which caught the edge of Sadeera Samarawickrama’s blade, leaving the visitors struggling at 34/2 early in the innings. However, a partnership between Angelo Mathews and Lahiru Thirimanne ensured that they did not lose a hand in the match. Following the end of the day’s play, former skipper Mathews highly rated the Indian bowling trio of Umesh Yadav, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami for their bowling.

“Especially in the last few years, Indians have produced some fantastic fast bowlers. The three (Shami, Bhuvneshwar and Umesh) are top class and you need to be able to mentally prepared with good skills to tackle them. We definitely can, we have a very good batting unit,” Mathews told reporters after the third day’s play.

“All three are very skillful. They keep coming at you and you can’t relax at all. If you see the loose balls were very minimal. They were top class,” he added.

On a challenging wicket, the Sri Lankan batsmen have played their guts out, to edge closer to India’s first innings total. The pitch offered no real advantage to the spinners and was still a pace-friendly wicket which did put the Sri Lankan batters in a lot of trouble but not as much as it did on the first two days.