IND vs SL 2017, 2nd Test: Sri Lanka Series a Preparatory One for Overseas Tour – Virat Kohli
The Indian cricket team was greeted with a lively wicket at the Eden Gardens for the first Test in the three-match series against Sri Lanka.
In the rain-affected encounter, Sri Lanka’s Suranga Lakmal was phenomenal in the first innings, as he removed the India top-order cheaply. The Sri Lankan seamers troubled the Indian batters with ease, as they were struggling to judge the proper line and length. There were many speculations over the Eden strip. However, many former cricketers believed it would provide a good practice ahead of the South Africa tour next month.
India was bowled out for 172 runs in the first innings with only Cheteshwar Pujara showing some resistance in front of the Sri Lankan pacers. In reply, Angelo Matthews and Lahiru Thirimanne played a valuable partnership in the middle-overs to take Sri Lanka’s score to 294 with Rangana Herath scoring a crucial 67 runs down the order. India came back stronger in the second innings, as both the openers got India off to a flier. India declared the innings with 230 runs ahead as Virat Kohli reached his 50th international hundred.
Now, ahead of the second Test match in Nagpur, India skipper Virat Kohli in a recent press conference has admitted they are looking at the ongoing Sri Lanka series as the preparatory one for the upcoming South Africa tour. Kohli further said they have asked for similar kind of pitches for the next two Test matches, as they will not have enough time to prepare for the overseas tour. The Men in Blue are scheduled to leave for South Africa two days after the Sri Lanka series, which commences on December 24th.
“We leave two days after SL series. Not much time to practice. So yes we have asked to prepare (similar conditions) now,” the young and aggressive Kohli was heard saying.
India will start the tour with a two-day warm-up match starting on December 30 and is scheduled to play three Test matches in South Africa followed by six ODIs, and three T20I, which will begin on January 5th.
“As usual cramped for time, which I think we needed to assess in future as well because we very easily assess the team when go abroad but we don’t look at how many days we have got to prepare before we go to a particular place to play.
“Everyone starts judging players when results come after Test matches. It should be a fair game where we get to prepare the way we want to and then we are entitled to be criticised. So we thought this is an ample opportunity for us to challenge ourselves, put us in a situation…
“As I said, we want to embrace being in difficult conditions. I am not saying that everyone will go out and perform immediately but if we can feel comfortable about it after one or two or three innings, someone will come good. And once you come good, you build on that confidence. It’s the same for the bowlers. Yes, we are looking at this as an opportunity,” the India skipper stated.
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