Ashwin: A tough day in store

R. Ashwin admitted Sri Lanka’s batsmen batted well in their second dig to provide resistance on Day Three of the second Test.

R. Ashwin.... “I don’t think we did too much wrong [as a bowling unit in the second innings].”   -  AP

Racing past all-rounder milestones, R. Ashwin has set a breathless pace. He was at it again in the second Test against Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC), be it getting past 2,000 runs or securing his 26th five-for. After a long stint on the field, in which he bruised Sri Lanka’s first innings and watched the host make amends in its second, Ashwin spoke about the pitch and gave credit to Kusal Mendis and Dimuth Karunaratne.

Report: Mendis, Karunaratne provide respite for host

Excerpts

Bowling on the SSC pitch

It had a bit of venom in the morning. As the ball got older and we bowled the second time around, it is kind of fizzling out and the edges aren’t carrying to the fielders. We beat the bat a lot. Mendis batted beautifully. He put Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja) off his length very quickly. Kept on sweeping him, and he was lucky and got away with it. I think this wicket will get slower and slower. It is not going to be easy work tomorrow for sure. We will have to be really disciplined.

Dickwella: We executed plans well in second dig

The day’s two halves

Test teams are allowed to bat well in a few sessions. They (Sri Lanka) did bat well. We beat the bat often even in the sessions we didn’t get wickets. Karunaratne really complimented Mendis, he defended beautifully, and Mendis played a few extra shots that Karunaratne obviously didn’t. I don’t think we did too much wrong. We tried reverse swing, we bowled cutters in the end. (Hardik) Pandya got the wicket with a cutter. Hopefully we will try and nick them off tomorrow.

Coping with the sweep

The best option is [to] vary the pace and try and find the top edge (when the batsman sweeps). I did try a lot; I went wider, I went straighter. I didn't give him (Mendis) a lot of boundaries in terms of the sweep. If a batsman sweeps against me, I don't really mind it, it gives me a good chance. But having seen him for the first time, probably the next time I will try and come in with a different plan.