Sri Lanka vs India: Shikhar Dhawan credits 'tough competition' for his success


Shikhar Dhawan struck a century for India, but Sri Lanka's spinners fought back to leave honours finely balanced after the first day of the third Test yesterday. In yet another show of strength, Virat Kohli and Co. rounded off the series winning the Pallekele in just three days, thereby notching up India's first ever 3-0 whitewash win away from home.

Indian fast bowler Mohammed Shami (2/17) did the early damage to Sri Lanka's first innings by dismissing both openers cheaply before left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav (4/40) ran through the middle and lower order. During his innings, Pandya took 26 runs off an over hitting two fours and three sixes.

Dinesh Chandimal, Sri Lanka's captain, had not merely run out of ideas, he seemed to have lost the ability to think at all.

Chandimal lasted 87 balls for 48, but no other batsman would even last 35 balls and Sri Lanka were shot out for 135 in just 37.4 overs.

After Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat, Dhawan, who brought up his sixth Test ton, and Rahul, who entered the record books by scoring his seventh consecutive Test fifty, made the most of the batting conditions following some lucky reprieves. Earlier, India bundled out Sri Lanka for mere 135 runs after posting a mammoth 487 and then restricting them to 19/1 post-imposition of follow-on.

Legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar appreciated team India's performance and wished them good luck for the one-day series.

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The islanders suffered their first jolt in the third over of the day when overnight batsman Dimuth Karunaratne was scalped by Ashwin.

Shami combined with Ashwin to mop up the tail as struggling Sri Lanka suffered their second successive innings loss after the Colombo Test. He believed that a quick bowling allrounder would give enough opportunity for the team to bat deep and provide a good bowling option.

The left-handed Dhawan hit a 123-ball 119 before becoming left-armer Malinda Pushpakumara's second victim at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

You might imagine Hardik Pandya was so intoxicated by his first Test hundred that he just started blurting things out. Unperturbed by the conditions, Pandya continued his show and created havoc among the Sri Lankan bowlers.

Pandya then went into overdrive and put on 20 runs with Shami (8), whilst reaching his half-century off 61 balls. We look forward to playing test cricket, we look forward to playing with the same excitement.