India V Sri Lanka, 3rd Test: Five Talking Points
Team India scripted history at Pallekele defeating hosts Sri Lanka by an innings and 171 runs to complete a clean sweep for the very first time in the Island nation.
The Indian team were thoroughly dominant from the first ball and like the first two Tests, they never gave Sri Lanka a chance to stage a comeback.
After Shikhar Dhawan smashed a sensational century on the opening day of the match, Hardik Pandya blazed his way to his maiden Test century which took India to 489 in their 1st essay. After Kuldeep Yadav’s brilliance in the 1st innings, it was Ravichandran Ashwin’s guile which helped India bowl the Lankans out for a mere 135 and 181 in the 1st and 2nd innings respectively.
So with the final Test and the series done and dusted let us have a look at some of the talking points from the last two day’s play
Hardik Pandya’s maiden Test century
Captain Virat Kohli had told prior to the series that Pandya has the abilities to play the role of a perfect all-rounder, much like the way England’s Ben Stokes does it for his nation. The hard-hitting batsman was in a murderous mood yesterday and treated the spinners with disdain. It was clean hitting by Pandya and the Sri Lankan bowlers were left scratching their head.
The all-rounder smashed Malinda Pushapkumara for 26 runs in an over which included 3 big sixes and 2 fours. On reaching his century Pandya celebrated much like the way Dhawan did on the 1st day, showing V signs towards the dressing room. He was the last man dismissed by Lakshan Sandakan after he made 108 of 96 deliveries which included 8 fours and 7 hits over the fence.
Mohammed Shami’s impressive show
Fast bowler Mohammed Shami broke Sri Lanka’s backbone in the 1st innings by sending back both openers in quick time. It was a great piece of bowling by Shami as both openers knicked an away swinging delivery to Wriddhiman Saha behind the stumps. It was just what the doctor had ordered India after scoring 487 in the 1st essay. Shami eventually ended with 2/17 in 6.5 overs in the 1st essay as the Lankans were bundled out for a mere 135 runs.
In the 2nd essay, Shami began with the wicket of night watchman Malinda Pushpakumara with an outswinger. It just moved away enough to take the outside edge of his bat and was safely pouched by Saha behind the stumps. He then removed the inform Kusal Mendis with an inswinger. Mendis wanted to flick it through the leg side but missed it completely which crashed on to his pads. Umpire Rod Tucker had no hesitation in ruling the decision in favour of the visiting team.
He ended his spell with the wicket of Lakshan Sandakan to finish with impressive figures of 3/32 in in 15 overs.
Dinesh Chandimal wages a lone battle
Captain Dinesh Chandimal was the only batsman in the Sri Lankan line-up who scored some runs during his brief stay and unlike all the other Lankan batsman he was cool and composed in the crease before giving away his wicket quite cheaply on both occasions. He made 48 in the 1st essay which was laced with 6 fours and in the 2nd essay he made a mere 36 runs off 89 deliveries which included 4 fours. While Ashwin dismissed him in the 1st innings, it was Kuldeep Yadav who brought about his downfall in the 2nd innings.
Kuldeep Yadav impresses in his 2nd Test
The left-arm chinaman bowler who has impressed one and all in his brief career justified his inclusion in the playing XI by bagging 5 wickets in the match. Kuldeep was the pick of the bowlers in the 1st essay with 4 wickets and bagged a solitary wicket in the 2nd essay. It was overall an impressive performance by the unique spinner.
He began with the wicket of Niroshan Dickwella as the southpaw came charging down the track and failed to connect. Wriddhiman Saha behind the stumps did the rest by whipping off the bails. The left arm chinaman then removed Dilruwan Perera as the right hander went for a slog and was holed out by Pandya in the deep.
He finished his spell with the wickets of Malinda Pushpakumara and Vishwa Fernando Eventually his figures after the 1st innings read 4/40 in 13 overs. Kuldeep removed Dinesh Chandimal in the 2nd essay and ended with 1/56 in 17 overs.
Ravichandran Ashwin’s continues his dream run
Ashwin has been the most consistent performer for India in the longest format of the game off late and yet again the all-rounder proved his mettle by bagging 6 wickets in the match without conceding much. After making 31 with the bat in the 1st essay, Ashwin bagged the prized wicket of Dinesh Chandimal when he was going well.
The ball jumped from the good length area and took Chandimal’s gloves which were taken safely by the short leg-fielder. His 2nd wicket in the 1st innings came in the form of Lakshan Sandakan’s wicket. The offie was at his best in the 2nd essay finishing with impressive figures of 6/68 in 28.3 overs.
He began with the wicket of Dimuth Karunaratne today morning. The ball jumped from a good length and took Karunaratne’s edge which was safely pouched by Ajinkya Rahane at slip. Ashwin’s next wicket was of Angelo Mathews. The ball went straight with the arm and struck Mathews plumb in front. He finished off his spell with the wickets of Dilruwan Perera and Lakshan Sandakan to return with 4/68.
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