IND vs SL: India get reality check in 11 overs

IND vs SL: India get reality check in 11 overs

After rain delay, Kohli & Co end day at unflattering 17/3 at stumps on Day One as Sri Lanka pacer Lakmal has figures of 6-6-0-3

It was just little more than 11 overs of play, thanks to the rains, and a lot happened in that period at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata, on Thursday.

India’s top order had no answer to the questions posed by Sri Lanka pacer Suranga Lakmal as the hosts suffered a major top order collapse – losing three wickets in the first 10 overs on a lively Eden track.

The hosts were 17 for three with No.3 Cheteshar Pujara (8 batting) and Ajinkya Rahane (0 batting) at the crease before bad light stopped play following which, a while later, umpires called stumps on the opening day of the first Test.

The mighty Indian batting line-up was a pale shadow of itself on a greenish track and overcast condtions that made Lakmal look like no less than a Glenn McGrath or a James Anderson.

The 30-year-old Lakmal, who had a pretty ordinary outing in the Test series against Pakistan in United Arab Emirates recently, emerged unplayable, where he bowled six maidens on trot and dismissing the likes of KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli cheaply. It was a dream spell which Lakmal won’t forget for a long time.

The top order’s failure will be a concern for the Indian team management after the visitors won the toss and asked the hosts to bat first.

Even before the first ball was bowled, the prediction on the series was India would roll over the Lankans once again just like they have been doing over last few years.

But the first day’s play came out as a surprise, though only 11.5 overs were bowled, when the curator doled out a South Africa-kind of wicket with a lot of grass, with the rains adding to the danger.

It was a perfect test before the big Test – against South Africa. The openers along with captain Kohli failed it.

Rahul got out to a jaffa by Lakmal on the first ball of the day. The seamer pitched the ball perfectly on the off-stump and good length. Rahul went to defend it, but a slight outswing saw the ball kiss his gloves and went to the wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella.

Having hit a boundary to Lahiru Gamage previously, Dhawan could not curb his aggression and went for an outrageous cover drive which saw him getting played on.

In hindsight, Murali ‘monk’ Vijay would have been better choice on a wicket like this where the batsman should mostly leave the ball and buy his time.

Kohli, on the other hand, was foxed by Lakmal. He made him leave the away going balls before bringing one in and trapping him front of the wicket. On Pujara’s suggestion, Kohli went to the third umpire for DRS, but field umpire’s decision remained.

Pujara, too, had his share of balls beating his bat, but he was smart enough to play on merit.

The second day, if it doesn’t rain, will be an interesting battle for Pujaras and the Rahanes to show their mettle.

 

 

Source by dnaindia..

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