Galle:Sri Lanka pacer Nuwan Pradeep has expressed delight at taking the prized scalp of Indian captain Virat Kohli after bagging his maiden five wicket haul in Tests on day two of the series-opener.
Set a mammoth 550 runs to win and with two full days to go, the doors were literally closed on Sri Lanka. Virat Kohli began his inning today with Ajinkay Rahane, India declared the innings after adding 51-runs to their score without losing a wicket. With the 79-run run third wicket partnership between Karunaratne and Mendis coming to an end courtesy a brilliant catch from Wriddhiman Saha off Ravindra Jadeja, Sri Lanka needed Mathews to produce something special. With his 81-run knock, Mukund scored only his second Test half-century after his previous best effort of 62 against the West Indies in Dominica back in 2011. "And we've just gone out there and focused on the game and that's all you think of doing and that's all that we're going to do in the future", said Kohli as a matter of fact.
The Indians were off to a rocky start in their second essay with Shikhar Dhawan - star of the Indian first innings - virtually gifting his wicket to Dilruwan Perera by offering an easy catch to backward point.
It was perhaps this showing or the lack of any other viable alternative that earned Dhawan a Test recall to replace Vijay on the Sri Lanka tour.
Kohli though felt that his team came up with a "clinical performance", he said there was still room for improvement.
Rahul had missed the first Test with a bout of viral fever but looks fit to return to the playing XI in the second match in Colombo starting on Thursday. "We couldn't get him to open either because the openers were already there, that's why we got Kusal to four for this Test". "We lost in the Zimbabwe series for the first time ever in Sri Lanka that means we're not performing well", Murali, who is the spin bowling consultant of Bengal's Vision 2020 programme, said.
Herath, who bowled just nine overs in India's second innings and didn't bat on Saturday, was hopeful without being certain that he would play the second Test. Skipper Virat Kohli remained unbeaten on 103.
"I was in Hong Kong actually on holiday and from there I flew back to India and joined the team". Credit to the India team, and we need improvement in all three departments. "Never thought I would get here".
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