India v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Day 3 - 5 Talking Points

India v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Day 3 – 5 Talking Points

Sri Lanka finished the day on 356/9 with their skipper Dinesh Chandimal standing tall on an unbeaten 147.

Team India
Team India celebrate a wicket. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Team Sri Lanka were at the receiving end of all critics by the end of the day 2 play of the ongoing Delhi Test. Their antics during the play was not well received by the Indian fans and the players. The hosts were furious at the time delaying tactics that the visitors used and had total domination on their minds as they strolled out for the day 3 play.

Amidst this backdrop, the action kick started at usual time, despite some fog around. Two seniormost members of the Sri Lankan team, Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal, were the two unbeaten batsmen at the crease. Much to their liking, they stitched a marathon stand between themselves for the fourth wicket.

Team India bowlers found themselves wanting on the day with nothing much going in their favor. Despite the odds, they kept bowling long spells. Once the breached the Mathews-Chandimal barrier, they cropped off the tail quite easily.

Here are the 5 Talking Points from the day’s play:

1. Mathews, Chandimal smash tons; dominate first session to frustrate the hosts

Chandimal and Mathews were expected to hold the fort on the day. If not for these two gentlemen, the fans had very little hope from the other inexperienced batters in the side. The senior members responded well enough to see off the Indian bowlers with ease. Mathews had notched up his fifty on the second day itself and continued his array of shots display.

Meanwhile, Chandimal also joined the party to bring up his fifty. Both batsmen then went on to score their respective centuries as well. They added 181 runs for the fourth wicket and the Indian bowlers kept looking for options to get rid of them.

2. No signs of R Ashwin

While the Sri Lankan senior players dictated terms in the first session, what bothered the Indian fans was to see R Ashwin not getting his share of the ball. It was indeed difficult to comprehend why Ashwin was not given the ball in the early stages of the day.

Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, and Ravindra Jadeja shared the ball amongst themselves for the majority of the pre-lunch session. Ashwin was present on the field but did not take the ball in his hand. Team India certainly missed the trick here.

3. Ashwin gets the big fish

And when the Indian team finally saw their ace spinner get the ball in hand, the former number one ranked bowler was at his business in quick time. Ashwin managed to break the 181-run stand between Mathews and Chandimal.

The ball was changed just before the over in which Mathews lost his wicket. The ball skid on to the batsman and Mathews got a faint edge to the bat. Wriddhiman Saha did the rest by holding on to the catch. Mathews scored 11 off 268 deliveries with 14 fours and 2 sixes.

4. The tail fails to wag, Saha impresses with the gloves

After the big partnership was broken, Sri Lanka expected their lower middle order to contribute as well. The follow on was avoided but the tail did not wag for the islanders. Team India clawed back in to the game by taking 5 quick wickets. Barring Sadeera Samarawickrama (33), no other batsman after him could breach 5-run mark.

It was Ravichandran Ashwin who proved to be the wrecker-in-chief as he ran through the Lankan middle order. Meanwhile, Indian wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha showed some superman skills with the gloves. He took a stunning one handed grab to dismiss Samarawickrama. Earlier, he had pocketed Mathews’ catch as well.

5. Chandimal stands tall

Team India sniffed an opportunity to wrap up the Sri Lankan innings on the day. However, the bad light forced an early closure of the game. Sri Lanka finished the day on 356/9 with their skipper Dinesh Chandimal standing tall on an unbeaten 147 off 341 balls with 18 fours and a six.

Seeing the wickets tumble from the other end, Chandimal showed some signs of aggression towards the end of the day’s play. All in all, it would only be fair to say that this has been arguably the best day Sri Lanka have had on the tour with the bat thus far.