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Our pacers will relish bowling here, says Sridhar

17 Nov 2017, 16:42 IST
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By Tapan Mohanta

Kolkata, Nov 17 (PTI) India fielding coach R Sridhar feels Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will relish the challenge of bowling on the green top here as much as the Sri Lankan pacers have in the rain-hit opening Test where the home team is currently in a spot of bother.

After Suranga Lakmal's (3/5) exploits on the first day of the rain-affected series opener, it was Dasun Shanaka's (2/23) turn to steal the limelight today as he struck twice to leave India reeling at 74/5 in 32.5 overs.

"It was fabulous to see so much of lateral movement and swing Lakmal and his fellow bowlers were purchasing from this wicket. Hopefully Shami and 'Sultan of swing' Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) would relish the challenge," Sridhar told reporters here.

With rain playing spoilsport again, only 21 overs of play was possible on the second day. On day one, only 11.5 overs were bowled before umpires decided to call off the day's play.

The rain is caused by a depression that is likely to clear out tomorrow and Sridhar said a result was very much on the cards if they have three full days.

"This Test can definitely get a result in 270 overs, should we get that. If the weather clears out, it would be really interesting going by the conditions of this Test," he said.

"Days like these really bring the team together where you spend a lot of time in the dressing room with each other with team in a bit of an adverse position. I always feel these kind of days are wonderful for the team."

Cheteshwar Pujara stood tall amid the ruins with an unbeaten 47 from 102 balls and Sridhar said the mantra for the India batsman was to narrow down the 'V' region to minimise the chance of being caught.

"The thing that really stood out was most of his drives were to the right of midoff. He had a very narrow V. It was a simple mantra and he was successful. It's one of the best 47 runs from Pujara in last two-three years," he said.

"He is a batsman who has a grip of every condition when he goes to bat. With moving ball the gameplan was pretty simple -- play as close to your body, play straight."

Stressing on the importance of slip catching, Sridhar said it would play a crucial role as they have a packed overseas calendar next year.

"As a team looking ahead to 15-20 months we are playing more away matches, our slip catching is going to be one of the areas that can contribute to the results which we want to achieve in our away Tests," he said.

Sridhar said slip catching is more difficult in sub- continent than abroad.

"It's always a challenge in the subcontinent because of the two-paced nature of the wickets. In England the ball wobbles. We have certain practice methods. We have prepared our best

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