NAGPUR – Ravichandran Ashwin and Ishant Sharma led a powerful bowling display by India to skittle out Sri Lanka for 205 on the opening day of the second Test on Fridauy.
The hosts were 11/1 at the close, trailing by 194 runs, after opener Lokesh Rahul fell for seven, bowled by Sri Lankan paceman Lahiru Gamage.
The day belonged to India’s bowlers, however. Ashwin took four wickets and fellow spinner Ravindra Jadeja and Sharma three each.
“I think me and Ashwin were trying to bowl in good areas. Trying to restrict them by not giving easy boundaries,” Jadeja, who took 3/56, told reporters.
“We were just providing a supporting role to the fast bowlers who bowled well in the first session.”
Skipper Dinesh Chandimal top-scored for Sri Lanka with 57, while opener Dimuth Karunaratne made 51 on a green pitch that helped India’s fast bowlers.
Sharma, who got Karunaratne after lunch, made the most of the favourable conditions to claim his three wickets for just 37 runs.
The spinners then took centre stage once the sun came out. Ashwin trapped Chandimal lbw to place the visitors in trouble.
Chandimal, who hit a six in his 122-ball knock, was given not out by the on-field umpire, but skipper Virat Kohli called for a review, which went in India’s favour.
“Ashwin is an intelligent bowler with some subtle variations. He is going to be a handful on any wicket he is going to play,” Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas said.
Chandimal and Karunaratne, who registered his 14th Test fifty, put on a crucial 62-run stand for the fourth wicket before the Indian bowlers struck back.
Wicket-keeper Niroshan Dickwella also tried to resist before falling to Jadeja’s left-arm spin.
Sri Lanka lost Sadeera Samarawickrama early after the opener edged a seaming delivery from Sharma to Cheteshwar Pujara at first slip for 13.
Left-handers Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne then tried to resist a persistent Indian attack during a 24-run second wicket stand that lasted 121 balls.
Karunaratne, who got reprieves on 17 and 21, passed 1 000 Test runs for the year, with South Africa’s Dean Elgar the only other opener to achieve the feat in 2017.
The batting duo were solid in defence before Ashwin bowled Thirimanne after his 58-ball nine.
“I think India bowled very well. I don’t think that there were many free balls going around that we missed out on,” Pothas said.
“Certainly a disappointing day, there are no demons in the wicket and we probably haven’t batted as we should have. This wicket has done nothing.
“Ashwin and Jadeja bowled straight balls and at this stage, you can’t be getting out on straight balls,” he said.
The two teams are fighting to get ahead in the three-Test series after the opening game ended in a draw at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens.