Happy to put India under pressure: Chandimal

Happy to put India under pressure: Chandimal

Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal must have let a sigh of relief as poor visibility on the final day of the first Test against India helped them get out of the jail even as the Indian pacemen were putting them through a wringer.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4/8), Mohammad Shami (2/34) and Umesh Yadav (1/25) breathed fire to reduce Lanka to 75 for seven in just 26.3 overs, while chasing a target of 231, before the match was called off due to bad light here on Monday. Relieved as he was, Chandimal was also left deeply impressed by the Indian pacers, terming the home attack as "one of the best" he has faced.  

"They are three different fast bowlers," the right-hander said. "Bhuvi sends the ball either way. Shami bowls outside to the right-handers. Umesh bowls into the right-handers. It's a very good variation. What you didn't get (earlier) in Indian fast bowlers was pace and now they have that too," he remarked.

Chandimal also had high praise reserved for his Indian counterpart Virat Kohli, whose well-paced century set the game up for the hosts from a position where they appeared vulnerable after losing three quick wickets in the morning session.

"He is definitely one of the world's best batsmen," he stressed. "He is the main Indian batsman. We always try to get him early and we discuss a lot about him early. Had we dismissed him early today (Monday) we could have probably won this match."

Few had given any hope for Lanka to challenge India on an even keel let alone winning a match. While they did have to struggle to save the match in the end, the visitors did make India uncomfortable by asking some tough questions on a difficult pitch.

"We planned a lot before we came here," Chandimal said when asked as to what has changed from the previous series which India won 3-0 in Lanka. "We always said that let's play to win. That was a big help to get the players' morale up. Apart from the last session, we put India under a lot of pressure. The change was that we believed we could compete. When we were whitewashed by India, we discussed a lot. We felt that we played without any purpose. Before we went to Pakistan, we decided that we were going to win. We wanted to take the Test match to the final day. That was a big difference," he explained.

DH News Service

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