Shikhar Dhawan looks unstoppable at the moment. After registering his career best 190 in the first Test at Galle, he has followed it up with another sparkling innings scoring 119, the sixth of his career, on day one of the third Test in Kandy.
Thanks to his knock, India were once again off to a great start. Batting with KL Rahul, he put up a 188-run opening stand. The stand was brought an end after Rahul was snapped up for 85 – once again failing to register a century.
But, Dhawan made no mistake and went ahead to complete his century. He seemed all set to notch up yet another big score before he was out caught at square leg trying while attempting a big shot. The hit was near perfect and could have given his a boundary, but the brilliance of Chandimal cut short his time.
But, unlike in the first Test match where he left the field annoyed, this time around he walked out without showing any regret.
“I was saying jokingly that if you bat like a king, you should also get out like a king, you should not be dismissed like a soldier. If you have made runs aggressively, then you will get out that way too. That’s how it is. I know I am an aggressive batsman, so I would rather get out that way than getting out in the slips and being defensive because that is not my natural game. My game, my planning is to keep scoring, it works for me. My strength is to score quickly and I like to play to my strengths.”
“Wicket is turning”
After spending close to two sessions on the fresh wicket, Dhawan can be tagged as the best person to seek an assessment of the pitch. He conceded that the pitch had nothing to do with his dismissal or Rahul’s, it was complete because of the audaciousness that the openers fell.
“The pitch is a bit on the slower side and does not have much of bounce in it. Rahul and myself played very nicely. We were playing our shots and got out, it was not as if we were getting out because of the pitch. The Sri Lankan bowlers bowled well and pulled the match a little bit on their side but we have got a decent score and good batsmen to go and score more runs tomorrow.”
Late slump not worrisome
But, despite the openers belting the hosts, India lost its grip over the proceedings going down from 188 for no loss to end the day at 329/6. This dismal show from his mates hasn’t made his upset, however.
“That happens. It’s not that it has happened for the first time. We got a good start and still feel at the end of the day, 329 is a good score. It is a wicket where it is not spinning but it doesn’t have bounce, so it’s not easy to score runs out there. When Sri Lanka come out to bat, we are going to make sure that we squeeze them hard and not give away easy runs.”