India fielding coach R Sridhar believes that Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be delighted to bowl on the green top at Eden Gardens as much as the Sri Lankan pacers, Suranga Lakmal and Dasun Shanaka, have in the rain-hit opening Test. With incessant rains, the Indian team is not being able to gather the momentum and is currently in a spot of bother. After Suranga Lakmal’s (3/5) exploits on the first day of the rain-affected series opener, it was Dasun Shanaka’s (2/23) turn to steal the limelight on the second day as he struck twice to leave India reeling at 74/5 in 32.5 overs.
“It was fabulous to see so much of lateral movement and swing Lakmal and his fellow bowlers were purchasing from this wicket. Hopefully, Shami and ‘Sultan of swing’ Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) would relish the challenge,” Sridhar told reporters.
With rain playing spoilsport again, only 21 overs of play was possible on the second day. On day one, only 11.5 overs were bowled before umpires decided to call off the day’s play.
The rain is caused by a depression that is likely to clear out on Saturday and Sridhar said a result was very much on the cards if they have three full days.
“This Test can definitely get a result in 270 overs, should we get that. If the weather clears out, it would be really interesting going by the conditions of this Test,” he said.
“Days like these really bring the team together where you spend a lot of time in the dressing room with each other with the team in a bit of an adverse position. I always feel this kind of days is wonderful for the team.”
Cheteshwar Pujara stood tall amid the ruins with an unbeaten 47 from 102 balls and Sridhar said the mantra for the India batsman was to narrow down the ‘V’ region to minimise the chance of being caught.
“The thing that really stood out was most of his drives were to the right of mid-off. He had a very narrow V. It was a simple mantra and he was successful. It’s one of the best 47 runs from Pujara in last two-three years,” he said.
“He is a batsman who has a grip on every condition when he goes to bat. With moving the ball the gameplan was pretty simple — play as close to your body, play straight.”
Stressing the importance of slip catching, Sridhar said it would play a crucial role as they have a packed overseas calendar next year.
“As a team looking ahead to 15-20 months we are playing more away matches, our slip catching is going to be one of the areas that can contribute to the results which we want to achieve in our away Tests,” he said.
Sridhar said slip catching is more difficult in sub-continent than abroad.
“It’s always a challenge in the subcontinent because of the two-paced nature of the wickets. In England the ball wobbles. We have certain practice methods. We have prepared our best.”
– Kohli won’t miss a chance to play till his body allows –
India’s fielding coach R Sridhar today said that skipper Virat Kohli would not miss a chance to play for the country as long as he is fit and would ask for rest only when his body demands.
“Each member of this team is very proud to represent his country at any given opportunity. Most of the team love to play every match. Knowing Virat, he wears his pride on his sleeve. As long as his body allows he would not miss a single second of the match.”
Thus, it is sure that Indian bowling will be attacking Sri Lankan’s from the first over putting the host at backfoot. So, if you support India do share your views in the comment box.