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India v Sri Lanka 2017, 1st Test: Who Said What

"As soon as we lost Saha, me and Bhuvi started having fun out there," Virat said.

India
(Photo Source: Twitter)

It had it all, a green pitch, overcast conditions, a textbook display of swing bowling, rain interruption, bad light troubles, fired up fast bowlers, exchange of words but despite all that the first Test between India and Sri Lanka ended in a draw. After the first two days were lost in rain, the Indian team turned the game on from the second session of the last day and put the visitors under real pressure in what were the dying moments of the match.

While Sri Lanka had a clear edge after the first innings, Virat Kohli’s men took back the charge for the last half and were on top for the most part of the last two days. They put up a much better batting show with KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan getting them off to a flying start and though there was a slump in the middle Kohli’s 18th Test century brought life back in the contest.

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The sun was setting rather faster in Kolkata and though India had runs in the bank and overs left in the day they didn’t really have control over the time of play. Their bowlers gave it their all in the 26.3 overs of play in the fourth innings and did manage to send seven Sri Lankans back to the pavilion but couldn’t seal the game.

He was considered a bowler for the green surfaces but with 8 wickets in the game, Bhuvneshwar Kumar showed how he has evolved his skill and is a wicket-taker irrespective of the conditions. He was awarded the player of the match for his effort, especially the second inning where he had figures of 11-8-8-4.

Bhuvi said:

 “It was difficult to bowl in the second innings because the ball was coming onto the bat. There was reverse swing, so looked to make the most out of it. When I made my debut, I was dependant on swing. There were areas I wanted to improve and those things are paying off. When we went in, Virat said – just imagine if you were playing in the same situation, it’s never easy. So we went in with that mindset.”

He scored his 50th international ton and ensured the game didn’t disappoint the fans of Test cricket who were otherwise let down, by the way, the match shaped up. Skipper Virat got the runs when the team needed the most and with his power-packed display has set up the tone of the series.

Virat Kohli said:

“It was important to make something out of the game. As you mentioned, conditions changed drastically into day four- five. We had to show character. Sri Lanka bowled well. We knew if didn’t let them get too far ahead, we can get back. Well, we didn’t look at Sri Lanka’s batting collapses. It was difficult to survive. You had to get to the ball and not let it seam. If we get enough good balls, which we did, fell just three short (of wickets, we could have been back in the game).

Bhuvneshwar has picked up pace. Bowls heavier balls and he’ll do well in overseas conditions. He’s going to be an important part of our plan going forward in all formats. Credit to him; he’s working hard and it’s paying for him. As soon as we lost Saha, me and Bhuvi started having fun out there. Didn’t try to think about the situation and pressure. Luckily they took the new ball and I thought I might as well go for it. Little bit go luck, bit of inside edge in the seventies. My journey hasn’t been long but it feels good (on 50 international 100s). The mindset is always to go forward and help the team forward, and win Test matches.”

He would thank the sun for sinking in sooner and his stars for ensuring they saved the game. But Sri Lankan skipper was happy with the kind of fight his team put up, though they certainly would’ve wanted to bat better in the second knock none the less saving a game against the No.1 Test team in their backyard is an achievement for Sri Lanka

Dinesh Chandimal said:

“It was (a good toss to win), especially in these conditions. It was a good game of cricket and we played well, competed well. Till the last session, we fought really well but unfortunately, last 10-15 overs were pressure to us. Lakmal is unbelievable, throughout the last two years. He’s the one who, as a captain, you can trust. He’s a really good bowler. Really happy that Rangana scored the runs but unfortunately spinners didn’t come into play. We’ll have to learn to bat in the second innings. In UAE vs Pakistan too we didn’t bat well in the 2nd innings. We can be lot better if we learn that.”

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