India vs Sri Lanka: Hosts need early wicket and aggressive batting to set up a victory

After toiling in the field for almost two days, battling arduous conditions on and off the pitch, Sri Lanka finally managed to put up some fight, but just when it seemed they had gained some control, they faltered again. The Islanders are still on the backfoot thanks to the fightback from Indian spinners.

File picture of Ravichandran Ashwin. AP

File image of Ravichandran Ashwin. AP

At the start of Day Three, the Indian bowlers didn’t bowl with much incision as the Sri Lankan senior duo of Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews put on a mammoth 181-run stand. Ashwin, then, stepped up his game and removed Mathews. Chandimal, however, fought on and added 61 with Samarawickrama, but the Indian bowlers bounced back to reduce the Islanders to 356/9.

Chandimal is still fighting out unbeaten on 147, but has run out of partners, he has just one left in Lakshan Sandakan and they still trail by 180. India are still in the driver’s seat. They would look to wrap the Sri Lankan innings up as soon as possible in the morning in order to avoid frustrations.

Just like the Kolkata Test, where they took the positive approach in the second innings and scored at a brisk rate, India would look to do something similar. Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan would look to hit the straps right from the beginning and maintain the pressure. The pitch still looks good for batting but will start assisting turn from Day Four. India would look bat briskly for around two sessions, post a target of 400 and may be put Sri Lanka in for the last session or hour and half of last session and pick up early wickets.

Acceleration while batting will be the key and they would look to build sustained momentum. Sri Lanka have shown that they can provide a fight and India would need to provide themselves with ample time to bowl them out. Aggressive mindset, both while batting and bowling will be crucial. India have a very good chance of making it 2-0 and they shouldn’t let this slip.

Published Date: Dec 05, 2017 07:00 am | Updated Date: Dec 04, 2017 10:55 pm

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