India and Sri Lanka are battling it out for the three-match Test series at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo. The series is squared at 1-1 and the visitors are looking more on the front foot than the transitional hosts.
Indian batting coach Sanjay Bangar has heaped praise on all the batsmen and their performance. The batsmen have remained open about exhanging their batting positions whenever the situation demands them to do so and that has made things easier for the young Indian side.
"All the batsmen are willing to bat at any position, which is a big plus of this team. They are willing to take up the challenge and come out of their comfort zone. They really challenge their abilities and test their skills in challenging conditions. I think once the decision is made by that particular batsman, it becomes just a matter of time of getting used to initial part of his innings and then it's batting as usual. It's just a matter of mindset and more the willingness of the players, the easier my job becomes," Bangar told reporters at the press confernece after Day 1 saw only 15 overs being bowled as rain forced umpires to call it a day.
The second Test saw Ajinkya Rahane being pushed to no.3 and Rohit Sharma moved to no.5. Rahane responded with a brilliant century in the second innings, which helped India to attain a healthy and comfortable lead against the Lankans.
"That worked for him in the second innings of the P Sara Test and he got off really well today too. But he got one good delivery and got out. That's how cricket is," Bangar said.
India have failed to see the face of a Test series in Sri Lanka against the hosts for a little over two decades now. India are desperate to turn that fact and what a way it would be for Virat Kohli to announce himself as the captain of the Indian Test team, who could lead the visitors to their first Test series victory in the Island in 22 years.
The wicket at SSC was relaid by the curator with a little bit of grass topping on it and it worked in the first hour of play as India lost two of top order batsmen - K L Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane. But rain forced to call it a day.
"The good thing about this series has been that it has been played on good tracks. There is a lot on offer for the bowlers, spinners as well as for fast bowlers. So it's a sporting wicket with good grass cover on it. I expect the ball will seam around right throughout the game and it's hard underneath. It makes for challenging cricket and the advantage of batting first on such wickets is that with a little bit of moisture basically slightly dents on the pitch, which could be of some use to us when we bowl on this track in the fourth innings," Bangar added.