Ind v SL: Dinesh Chandimal says they must score at least 350 first up

Updated: Dec 02, 2017, 14:49 IST | Ankur Dhawan

After a promising first innings in Kolkata where Sri Lanka had India on the mat, three dramatic collapses with the bat, have caused the spark to snuff out

After a promising first innings in Kolkata where Sri Lanka had India on the mat, three dramatic collapses with the bat, have caused the spark to snuff out. They lost seven for 75 in a session and a bit in Kolkata, six for 45 in the final session on Day One in Nagpur and then finally nine for 145 in the second innings in Nagpur, which meant that they suffered their heaviest defeat in Test history. Barring the frequent collapses, Sri Lanka's top order plodded their way to a measly 47 for two in the opening session on the first morning in Nagpur when the pitch was at its best.

Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal in Delhi yesterday
Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal in Delhi yesterday

According to captain Dinesh Chandimal, the onus is on their batsmen to do better in the first innings, for Sri Lanka to remain relevant in the Test. "It was a bad loss in the second game," he said yesterday. "Actually, as a batting unit, we need to do well. Especially in the first innings, we need to score a big, big total. At least 350. Then we can at least stay in the game. The batting unit let us down in that game. I'm sure we can come up with very good plans."

In three successive innings now, the Sri Lankans' shot selection has come under the scanner. In the second innings in Kolkata, their openers and No. 3 were all out to flashy strokes, when they were trying to save a Test, thereby opening the floodgates. In Nagpur too, the shot selection of Lahiru Thirimanne and senior batsman Angelo Mathews was questionable under the circumstances. But Chandimal came to the aid of senior statesman Mathews, calling it a "team responsibility." Chandimal said: "There are other senior batsmen and even the youngsters [in the team], they have to take responsibility in the middle. That's a problem we have been having over the last one-and-a-half years.
The top five batsmen especially have to play long innings."

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