Playing In India Tough, Admits Ratnayake

If it was the M Vijay and Cheteswar Pujara show on the second day that got India comfortably past Sri Lanka's first-innings total of 205, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma upped it a notch on the third day to give their side a huge advantage.

After Dasun Shanaka got one past Pujara's defences with a perfect yorker for 143 and Dilruwan Perera dismissed Ajinkya Rahane early on Sunday (November 26), the visiting side would have harboured hopes of restricting the lead, but Kohli and Rohit had other plans as they laid into the Sri Lankan attack to help India declare on 610 for 6, 405 runs in front. Sri Lanka then went to stumps on 21 for 1.

Rumesh Ratnayake, the Sri Lanka fast-bowling coach, expressed his disappointment over the bowling performance on the third day but insisted that this was the best attack the side had.

“What we have for the tour is what we have, we have to manage with that,” said Ratnayake after the end of the third day's play. “Not taking that as a huge compliment as a fast-bowling coach, but this is what we have. First and foremost, we have to say that it was a good track and we should have put on more than what we have done (with the bat). India showed us that.

“Having said that, with the past record of Sri Lanka against India, we have done quite well compared to some of the runs they scored in Sri Lanka.”

In the five Tests that the two teams have faced off in this year, Sri Lanka has not been able to pick up 20 wickets even once, the best effort being in the last game in Kolkata where it managed 17.

Ratnayake admitted that this was a major area of concern for his side, but said that it was still essential to encourage the bowlers as much as possible. “It is a concern,” he said. “We need to take 20 wickets, that’s for sure. I am not trying to say that we have the best bowlers, but we have to do things in a way so that we have the best (results).

“We came quite close in the first Test. People then said that it was a green track. In today’s context we have not done well. I would like to still encourage the bowlers saying that they have slowed the process a little bit.”

Buried under a mountain of runs, Sri Lanka then had the worst possible start to its second stint when Sadeera Samarawickrama was bowled off just the second ball of the innings when he left an incoming Ishant Sharma delivery.

Describing the shot as a “poor”, Ratnayake said that the only way forward for the Sri Lankan batsman would be to stay positive. “I thought the decision to leave the ball was poor,” said Ratnayake. “He (Samarawickrama) left the first ball and he perhaps thought the ball was going away. Bad judgement.

“The other two (Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne) were trying to be positive. That is what we are trying to do. We are going to play in sessions. We will break sessions into portions and we will try to win that. Playing in India is tough. We have never won a Test match here. That is one of our ambition to win a Test match here. When it will come we don’t know.”

Courtesy:ICC

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