Virat Kohli conceded he was not a big fan of follow-ons after he had asked Sri Lanka to bat again in the second Test of the ongoing three-match series in Colombo. In reply to India's mammoth first innings total of 622, the hosts crumbled for just 183 in the first innings, before losing the match by an innings and 53 runs.
"The way the wicket behaved when Sri Lanka batted first prompted that decision to enforce the follow-on. I'm not a big fan of it, especially when the wicket is breaking down like that. Even 150 in the fourth innings can be tough. You don't want to leave chances but here, we felt we had enough," Kohli had said.
However, the India captain was once again pushed to go against his plans as an insipid Sri Lanka were bowled out for just 135 on Sunday in response to India's 487.
Wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav picked up his career best figures of 40/4, while R Ashwin and Mohammed Shami chipped in with two wickets each as India came up with a clinical bowling performance.
Skipper Dinesh Chandimal, who top-scored with 48, was the only Sri Lankan batsman, who showed resistance.
Kohli's hand forced
The decision came as a surprise as Umesh Yadav walked off with a niggle during Sri Lanka's first innings. The pacer had just bowled five overs in the first innings, but he was back in action towards the close of play on Day 2.
With a rigorous limited-overs schedule awaiting the Indian team, Kohli was expected to let his bowlers cool off their heels.
But, a sizeable lead of 352 runs must have tempted Kohli to make Sri Lanka bat again. Notably, Chandimal's side impressed under pressure when they were asked to follow-on in Colombo as Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis played valiant knocks to take the hosts to 386, which still remains their highest total in the ongoing series.
However, it is unlikely that Sri Lanka can come close to India's 487, especially after conceding a huge first innings lead. Sri Lanka have been devastated by India's no-questions-asked dominance in the ongoing series.
And, the morale in the Sri Lankan dressing room has dropped drastically as Hardik Pandya toyed with the visitors' bowlers in the morning session, forging partnerships with tail-enders to take India to a good total.
Pandya hit three sixes and a record-breaking 26 runs in an over from Sri Lanka spinner Malinda Pushpakumara, before hitting his maiden Test century in just 86 balls.