India in driver’s seat on Day 2 of Kotla Test
New Delhi: Sri Lanka reached 131/3 after India declared their first innings at 536/7 on the second day, which was marred by complaints of air pollution, during the third and final Test at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium here on Sunday.
Skipper Virat Kohli hit a career-highest score of 243 as he shared a 135-run stand for the fifth wicket with Rohit Sharma (65) to power India to a big total.
At the end of the second day’s play, Angelo Mathews (57 batting) and Dinesh Chandimal (25 batting) were at the crease for Sri Lanka. Dilruwan Perera contributed 42 runs for the visitors.
Resuming the day at the overnight total of 371/4, skipper Virat Kohli (243) continued where he left off on Saturday. Rohit, at the other end, supported him by playing some beautifully crafted shots.
Right from the first ball of the morning session, Kohli and Rohit were right on target. They thrashed the Lankan bowlers at will and maintained a good run rate.
The two added 129 runs between them during the session before the Mumbai batsman was dismissed off the last ball before lunch. In the process, Kohli completed his sixth double ton in 238 balls.
The Delhi batsman thus joined Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag in sharing the record for the most number (six) of double centuries for India in Test cricket. He also made 1000 Test runs in 2017.
Kohli also broke the record of West Indies legend Brian Lara in registering scores of more than 200 six times — most as a captain in the five-day format.
Former left-handed batting superstar Lara had five double centuries as the West Indies skipper.
The Sri Lankan bowlers, on the other hand, created several chances but failed to make them count.
Just before lunch, Rohit completed his half century in 88 balls but just when things seemed good in the middle, he was dismissed off the last ball of the session by Sandakan.
For Sri Lanka, Sandakan was the only successful bowler in the morning session.
The real drama unfolded in the second session as the play was halted for few minutes after concerns over the poor air quality, prompting the Lankans to wear anti-pollution masks.
Sri Lanka complained of poor air quality and hazy conditions after two players – Lahiru Gamage and Suranga Lakmal – had to go off. Both seemed to be struggling with their breathing.
As the air quality deteriorated and it became hazy just after lunch, the umpires discussed the issue with the players and the match was halted for around 15 minutes before the floodlights came into action for the rest of the day.
But play was stopped again after a few minutes, seeing that skipper Kohli decided to declare the innings at 536/7.
Wicketkeeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha (9 not out) and middle-order batsman Ravindra Jadeja (5 not out) were at the crease when Kohli decided to declare.
Like their bowlers, the Sri Lankan batsmen struggled from the start as Dimuth Karunaratne (0) was caught behind by Wriddhiman Saha off pacer Mohammad Shami on the very first ball of their innings.
The fall of Karunaratne’s wicket brought in Dhananjaya de Silva (1), who also failed. After adding 14 runs to the score with Perera, Dhananjaya was adjudged leg before wicket off pacer Ishant Sharma in the sixth over.
Angelo Mathews then came onto the middle just before the umpires dislodged the bails.
For India, Shami and Ishant chipped in with one wicket each at tea.
The final session witnessed some fight from Angelo Mathews and some lacklustre fielding by the Indians. As a result the visitors managed to get past the 100-run mark losing three wickets.
Despite poor fielding, where Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan dropped a catch each, the bowlers created many other chances but the Sri Lankan batsmen were lucky and managed to end the day without losing any more wickets.