R Ashwin picked up his 26th five-wicket haul in Test cricket. (Source: AP)
Sri Lanka fought back in a perfect manner against India in the second Test after a follow-on was enforced on the home side in Colombo. Kusal Mendis and Dimuth Karunaratne’s batting display provided the hosts with much-needed resistance as they ended day’s play 209/2. Earlier, India rode on R Ashwin’s fifer to bowl Sri Lanka out for 183 runs. The off-spinner in the presser after the day’s play told about the track and the way Sri Lankan batsmen’s batting performances.
Bowling on this surface
It had a bit of venom in the morning but as the ball got old and when we bowled the second time it started going out and it beat the bat a lot. Kusal Mendis batted beautifully. It put Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja) off his line very quickly.
The difference in approach of Sri Lankan batsmen and Indian bowlers from the first session.
They did bat well. We did beat the bat pretty often but Karunaratne really batted well and complemented Mendis and credits to both of them. I don’t think we did too much wrong as we tried a variety of bowling. Pandya (Hardik) even got a wicket in the end.
Was the breeze different from the morning
There’s not much in the line of stumps to do. Also, the breeze started running and it was taking the ball away as you come closer to the stumps. In the morning I didn’t bowl a lot to the left-handers and there is something in the track if you bowl wider to the right-handers.
Talking about the track
The wicket is going to become slower and it’s not an easy work tomorrow. We gave away a few more runs that we shouldn’t have. Picking up early wickets is going to be very very important. The second new ball will definitely be very important. They have got a good partnership but tomorrow they will have to start from the scratch.
Take on enforcing the follow-on
Most of the time we have bestowed upon how tired the bowlers are. We thought this was the right time enforce the follow on and we thought the wicket will keep on slowing down and it’s not going to be easy as the game progresses to 4th or 5th day.
Felt depleted after the Kusal Mendis’ innings
The team feels depleted when somebody bats that well. But there was nothing to feel depleted about as we were able to beat them on a number of occasions.
What efforts do you need to turn the ball less when you are beating the batsmen so often?
We can change the angle which I tried to do.
Does it become tricky for a spinner when a batsman is able to hit you with cross bat despite getting beaten up number of times?
If you need to play the cross-routed shot, you really need to be very good at it. Some batsmen are really good at them.
What do you do when the batsman bats so aggressively?
For me, it’s trying to vary the pace and as I’m a tall bowler I try to get underneath the bat. I tried to go wider as well as bowled straighter.