Monday , September 24 2018

Ashwin breaks record as India crush Sri Lanka in 2nd Test – Hosts win by an inning, lead tourists by 239 runs

NAGPUR, India, Nov 27, (AFP): Spin wizard Ravichandran Ashwin played down comparisons with Dennis Lillee after his record-breaking feat Monday helped India crush Sri Lanka by an innings and 239 runs in the second Test.

Ashwin became the fastest bowler to reach 300 Test wickets, taking 54 matches to reach the mark — two fewer than Aussie pace legend Lillee who terrorised batsmen in the 1970s and early 1980s.

The off-spinner was all humility when asked to comment on the enviable record, saying any comparison with the greats would be unfair.

“We are a bit more blessed than the other greats. We have technology to help. We have help with our fitness. So we shouldn’t compare,” he said after the top-ranked hosts wrapped up the win inside four days to stamp their class.

“I really hope I can go on to double these 300 wickets. I’ve only played 50-odd Tests,” said the 31-year-old, who finished with a match haul of 8-130.

“It’s not easy bowling spin, it looks like you’re just ambling up. But there’s a lot behind it.

“We have bowled a lot of overs, me and Jaddu (fellow spinner Ravindra Jadeja) in the last 24 months. I am a lot more experienced now.”

The victory equalled India’s biggest Test win, achieved against Bangladesh in Dhaka 10 years ago.

Sri Lanka, who started the day on 21-1 after conceding a 405-run first innings lead, crashed to 166 all out, giving the hosts a 1-0 lead in the three-match series with the first game having ended in a draw.

Skipper Dinesh Chandimal put up some resistance with 61 but the rest of the batsmen fell by the wayside without showing much application.

Left-arm spinner Jadeja and fast bowlers Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma took two wickets each to underline India’s all-round dominance.

Jadeja struck early in the morning session when he had opener Dimuth Karunaratne caught at short leg for 18.

The left-handed Karunaratne, who resumed the day on 11, got an inside edge on a tossed-up delivery from Jadeja and Murali Vijay took a sharp close catch.

Karunaratne’s overnight partner Lahiru Thirimanne played a careless shot way outside off stump to hand a simple catch to Jadeja off Yadav for 23.

Meanwhile, India’s captain and star batsman Virat Kohli will be rested for the one-day matches against Sri Lanka after the ongoing Test series ends, selectors said Monday.

Kohli has stepped up calls in recent weeks for a break from cricket because of the workload. India, the world’s top Test nation, start a demanding tour of South Africa in January.

“I’m not a robot, you can slice my skin and check if I still bleed,” Kohli said before the Sri Lanka series started. He has played more international cricket in 2017 than any other Indian player — nine Tests, 26 one-day internationals and 10 T20s.

India will go into the third and final Test against Sri Lanka in New Delhi on Saturday with Kohli leading the squad that hammered the visitors in the second Test.

The return of batsman Shikhar Dhawan, who opted out of the second Test due to personal reasons, is the only change.

The squad for the South Africa tour is to be named before the game starts.

Kohli will be replaced as captain by batsman Rohit Sharma for the three-match one day series after the Tests.

Sharma, who hit 102 not out in the Nagpur Test, is expected to remain captain for the T20 games too, as Kohli rests and prepares for the South Africa tour.

Allrounder Hardik Pandya and fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who pulled out of the second and third Sri Lanka Test to get married, return to the 15-man squad.

Uncapped fast bowler Siddarth Kaul and young batsmen Shreyas Iyer, who has represented India in three T20 games, are also part of the one-day team.

Senior spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja continue to stay out of India’s limited-overs plans despite their superb run in the five-day format.

Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal remain the team’s three spinners in the 50-over matches against Sri Lanka.

The first of the three ODIs will be played in Dharamsala on December 10.

India squad for third Test against Sri Lanka:

Virat Kohli (capt), Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Vijay Shankar

India squad for one day series against Sri Lanka:

Rohit Sharma (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul.

Scoreboard

NAGPUR, India, Nov 27, (AFP): Scoreboard at the end of the second cricket Test between India and Sri Lanka on day four in Nagpur on Monday:

SRI LANKA 1st innings 205 (D. Chandimal 57, D. Karunaratne 51; R. Ashwin 4-67)

INDIA 1st innings 610-6 dec (V. Kohli 213, C. Pujara 143; D. Perera 3-202)

SRI LANKA 2nd innings (overnight 21-1)

  1. Samarawickrama b Sharma ……………………. 0
  2. Karunaratne c Vijay b Jadeja ………………….. 18
  3. Thirimanne c Jadeja b Yadav ………………….. 23
  4. Mathews c Rohit b Jadeja …………………….. 10
  5. Chandimal c Ashwin b Yadav ………………….. 61
  6. Dickwella c Kohli b Ishant ……………………… 4
  7. Shanaka c Rahul b Ashwin ……………………. 17
  8. Perera lbw b Ashwin …………………………. 0
  9. Herath c Rahane b Ashwin …………………….. 0
  10. Lakmal not out …………………………….. 31
  11. Gamage b Ashwin …………………………… 0

Extras (lb2) ………………………………… 2

Total (all out, 49.3 overs) ………………………. 166

Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Samarawickrama), 2-34 (Karunaratne), 3-48 (Thirimanne), 4-68 (Mathews), 5-75 (Dickwella), 6-102 (Shanaka), 7-107 (Perera), 8-107 (Herath), 9-165 (Chandimal), 10-166 (Gamage)

Bowling: Sharma 12-4-43-2, Ashwin 17.3-4-63-4, Jadeja 11-5-28-2, Yadav 9-2-30-2

Toss: Sri Lanka

Result: India won by an innings and 239 runs

Series: India lead the three-match series 1-0

Umpires: Richard Kettleborough (ENG), Joel Wilson (WIS)

TV umpire: Nigel Llong (ENG)

Match referee: David Boon (AUS)

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