Ravindra Jadeja scored an unbeaten 70 and grabbed a five-wicket haul in Sri Lanka’s second innings. (Source: AP)
An all-round performance by team India saw the visitors register an emphatic win over Sri Lanka. With this win, India under the leadership of Virat Kohli has now won eight consecutive Test series. After securing his second series win over Sri Lanka, Kohli reserved special praise for India’s middle order batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane.
Impressed by Pujara’s hunger to score runs in the longer format Kohli stated that this has helped him evolve as a cricketer.
“Pujara and Ajinkya are our two best Test batsmen, especially in the middle order. They’ve been doing so well consistently. Pujara, I would give him more credit because he only plays one format for India. And to be able to have that hunger and passion day in day out, working hard on his game, coming out and having those consistent performances takes a lot of mental strength,” said Kohli.
“And he’s a guy with a lot of mental strength. He obviously has the game. He knows how to score runs, which is the most important thing. He has evolved massively as a cricketer since then.
“All of us have, but Pujara’s game has gone to another level. If you see last season, continuing now, he’s got about 1500 runs which is outstanding. All credit goes to how hard he’s working on the game, and how he thinks about his game as well,” he added.
India registered an emphatic win over Sri Lanka to take a 2-0 lead in the three-match Test series. (Source: AP)
In the second Test, Pujara and Rahane forged a 217-run partnership which guided India to a mammoth total of 622/9 in the first innings. However, the Lankans were bowled out for 183 and a follow-on was enforced with a 439-run lead. Finally it was Ravindra Jadeja’s ninth five-wicket haul which helped India win the second of the three-Test by an innings and 53 runs.
When asked about Jadeja’s contribution with the bat and ball, Kohli said, “Jadeja can give you a very quick 60-70 anywhere at any stage of the game, it can really turn the game. Remember Lord’s, remember Dharamsala against Australia, those are very important innings, the 90 against England in Mohali. He has the ability, he believes in it and he’s worked extra hard in the last 10-12 months on his batting also. He’s bowled so much that the other discipline was left behind, but now he’s catching up in that as well. It’s only going to do good to him.”
“If he doesn’t bowl well on a particular day, he can score runs. Once he scores runs, then he gets confidence with the ball also. He’s always in the game, his fielding as well. I would say he’s a very valuable cricketer for us,” he concluded.