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Ashwin warns dominant India: Win won't come easy

197   //    05 Aug 2017, 23:40 IST
Ravichandran Ashwin - cropped
India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin does not expect victory to come easily for India on day four of the second Test with Sri Lanka in Colombo, after the hosts produced a much-improved second-innings batting performance on Saturday.

Having been beaten heavily in Galle last week, Sri Lanka suffered further misery at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground when they were skittled for 183 in reply to India's mammoth total of 622-9 declared.

However, Dinesh Chandimal's side were able to frustrate India after being invited to follow on, ending the third day on 209-2 - still trailing by 230 - thanks to Dimuth Karunaratne's unbeaten 92 and a counter-attacking 110 from Kusal Mendis.

Ashwin, who claimed five wickets in Sri Lanka's first innings, was quoted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India's official website as saying: "The pitch had a bit of venom in the morning.

"The ball got older and when we bowled the second time around, it was kind of fizzling out and the edges weren't carrying that much to the fielders.

"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."

Ashwin paid tribute to Karunaratne and Mendis, who shared a second-wicket partnership of 191 after Upul Tharanga had fallen cheaply at the start of Sri Lanka's second dig.

"They did bat really well," the off-spinner added. "Credit to them, I don't think we did too much wrong.

"It is not going to be easy, because it is slowing down at a very quick pace. Edges aren't carrying, so that means we will have to stick to our guns and try to prise a few wickets out.

"The second new ball, therefore, becomes important. They got a great partnership but the guys coming in will have to start from scratch. There is going to be an equal challenge on both sides."

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