For a second straight day at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, the seamers dominated before rain played spoilsport. For a second straight day, the Indian batsmen looked far from comfortable on a tricky surface. And for a second straight day, the Sri Lankan seamers made merry. By the end of things, India were 74/5 and the outcome from the Test looking far from possible – unless things change drastically on the weather front.
On the opening day, it was Suranga Lakmal who had picked up three wickets to leave India in trouble and on the second day, Dasun Shanaka made the most of his gentle medium pace to pick up the wickets of Ajinkya Rahane and R Ashwin. Cheteshwar Pujara, in comparison than the rest, remained patient and chose his deliveries with utmost care. Under testing conditions, he made a rule to not go after deliveries outside the off stump and played only thr over-pitched and short stuff. At lunch, India had ambled their way to 74/5 with Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha in the middle. Unfortunately, that was that as far as cricketing activity was concerned with just 21 overs bowled in the day and a total of 32.5 overs from the first two days. Thus robbing Sri Lanka of a chance of any retribution of the hammering they received back home.
Pujara opened the day’s proceedings at eight and faced 102 deliveries in his knock which was laced with nine boundaries. He stands just three runs away from what would be an inning admired mostly for his resolve to stand his ground.
Rahane was the first to fall on the day when he was temped by a Shanaka delivery in the third over of the day’s play. He got a thin which carried comfortably to the keeper. He soon sent Ashwin packing after setting him up brilliantly for an expansive drive. The visitors successfully played the waiting game and probed the Indian batsmen by working on the off side line under overcast conditions on a green top.
With the bowlers working successful, skipper Dinesh Chandimal missed the trick by making some questionable bowling change decisions. With five wickets down, Chandimal opted not to bring in his strike bowler in Lakmal – who bowled 11 overs – thus letting India off the hook. He brought on Lahiru Gamage and Dimuth Karunarathe thus allowing Pujara to steady himself and put together a string of boundaries. Karunarathe, on the other hand, went for 17 runs in his two overs as Gamage failed to trouble the two batsmen.