Rohit Sharma and Co aim to seal streak as pink ball challenge awaits

On Friday, vice-captain Jasprit Bumrah said India were still getting used to testing cricket under the lights as they faced Sri Lanka in their third home pink ball match.

The hosts are looking to sweep the two-game series in Bengaluru after a landslide victory in the opening Test in three days.

But Bumrah said the team were entering uncharted territory despite their previous two day and night home tests against Bangladesh in 2019 and England last year.

“We have to make mental adjustments while preparing for the pink ball test,” Bumrah said on the eve of the second game starting on Saturday.

“Playing under the lights, playing in the field and bowling with a pink ball are things that we have to get used to and we keep all these things in mind during the training session.

“We’re not used to catching or bowling with the pink ball. This is still a fairly new concept for all of us and we are trying to learn with each test.

Bengaluru test: Bumrah on pink ball game challenges, Jadeja form and more

India came late to the pink ball arena and made their day-to-night debut four years after Australia and New Zealand played the first-ever floodlit Test in 2015.

They dispatched Bangladesh in three days in Kolkata, but at the Adelaide Ring in December 2020 Australia beat Virat Kohli’s side for 36 in the second set – the lowest Test total in the India.

The team returned to winning ways with the pink ball when they beat England in two days at the world’s biggest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad in February last year.

Australia have participated in 10 of the 18 Pink Ball Tests that have been contested so far and enjoy an unbeaten record.

Bumrah said players will have to adapt to the differently colored ball, which has a pink lacquer coating and behaves differently than the traditional red ball.

“It all depends on the individual. The pink ball looks different, the speed it hits you down the court,” the fast bowler said.

“The timings of the day-night test are also different, so the ball might not do much in the first session, but might start to do more under the lights.

“We played the pink ball tests on all the different surfaces, so there are no set parameters for that.”

M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru has allowed 100 per cent attendance for the pink ball show after previously deciding to limit crowds to half capacity.

Remaining tickets went on sale on Friday as fans rushed to secure seats at the 40,000 capacity stadium.

Sri Lanka, which lost the opener by one set and 222 runs, will be without batsman Pathum Nissanka who was ruled out with a back injury.

Teams

India: Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma (c), Hanuma Vihari, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant(w), Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jayant Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Shubman Gill, Umesh Yadav, Priyank Panchal, Srikar Bharat, Axar Patel, Saurabh Kumar.

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Niroshan Dickwella (w), Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Embuldeniya, Vishwa Fernando, Lahiru Kumara, Praveen Jayawickrama, Dinesh Chandimal, Chamika Karunaratne, Jeffrey Vandersay, Dushmantha Chameera.

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