Hello and a warm welcome to the coverage of the last day of the final Test match between India and Sri Lanka in Delhi. Good news is that bright skies welcome us at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Let's hope the weather stays this way throughout the course of the day. The hosts are in thorough control of the proceedings and are basking in the glory of the sun. The spin twins, Ashwin and Jadeja, were operating in tandem towards the end of yesterday and it seemed that a wicket is always around the corner. On a subcontinental Day 5 pitch, it will be an uphill task for the Sri Lankan batsmen to tackle them. Even the seamers Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami are breathing fire.
On the other hand, the visitors need only one thing - a resolute and firm approach. With still 379 runs away from the target, winning the game is almost out of the equation for them. The question is, can they save the match? It will largely depend upon the experience of Mathews and Chandimal. The duo stitched a 181-run in their previous innings and showed hunger to achieve the best. If Sri Lanka put up a stern resistance which has been missing for a long time, it will be a joy for ardent cricketing fans all around the globe! The odds are stacked against them but when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Will the Lankan Lions salvage a draw? Or will the No. 1 ranked Test side in the world run away with the show? Stay with us for all the live action. ()
LIVE SCORE AND UPDATES, INDIA VS SRI LANKA, 3RD TEST, DAY 5 AT KOTLA
09.28 IST: We are set to get rolling. ANGELO MATHEWS and DHANANJAYA DE SILVA to resume their innings. The first hour of this morning will be very crucial from the visitors point of view. If they manage to see it off without losing a wicket, their confidence will rise. ISHANT SHARMA to steam in with the ball first up. Three slips and a gully in place. Here we go...
09.25 IST: Rohit Sharma says he is very happy with his current form. Adds that he wanted this before going to South Africa and he feels good to have spent time in the middle as he was playing Test cricket after a long time. Reckons that he was unfortunate to miss out on some game time as he picked up an injury in the series against New Zealand but now he's good to go. About his mental preparation, he hasn't changed it much as he is aware of getting his chances in between due to the five-bowler theory that the team prefers. Adds that hence he is prepared to use whatever opportunity comes his way. Mentions that he was telling Ishant Sharma to bowl in a particular way to Lakshan Sandakan but the Sri Lankan seemed to understand hindi. Hence he told his teammates the need to change their language of communication. Adds that Sandakan said he watches hindi movies and hence knows a bit of the language. About the conditions today, he observes that it still not a fifth day deck as there are no visible cracks and rough patches. Adds that it is due to the weather which hasn't been much sunny over the period of the game. States that the pitch conditions won't matter much as the Indian bowlers rely on their skills and not the tracks. Ends saying that they would look to create pressure on the batters by bowling in disciplined areas and taking the catches that come their way.
09.15 IST: PITCH REPORT - Russel Arnold inspects the pitch and says that the blue skies are out and it's a bit sunny as compared to the other days and also adds that the pitch is looking good. On further inspecting the pitch he sees that there are foot marks of both the batsmen and the bowler but it's not in a area of concern. He comments that if Ashwin bowls in those areas he can get the ball to talk. Arnold then gets the help of Sunny Gavaskar who is standing on other side of the pitch. Sunny says that even the other end of the pitch is good. The cracks have not yet opened up. He continues saying that there are little marks on the pitch but it's on the off side of the wicket. He too opines that if Ashwin and also the quick blowers gets the ball to pitch there they will cause trouble for the batsmen. The little master adds that the pitch is as good as Day 1. After Russel asks Sunny what suggestions does he have for Sri Lanka he answers that they should play the ball on merit and not think too far ahead. He continues saying that they should be aware of the square cut because the ball can keep low and turn. Arnold says that it will be difficult for Sri Lanka to win from here but should look to save the match as it will be as good as a win.
Here's wishing one of #TeamIndia's rockstars @imjadeja a very happy birthday #HappyBirthdayJaddu pic.twitter.com/gdgHwYZfMj
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 6, 2017
#TeamIndia prepping up for the final day of the final Test #INDvSL pic.twitter.com/mYXPVxWa1P— BCCI (@BCCI) December 6, 2017
Brief Preview: India hurtled towards their ninth successive series victory as they left Sri Lanka precariously placed at 31 for three and staring at another humiliation in the third and final Test in Delhi on Tuesday. The visiting Lankans were set an improbable victory target of 410 to level the three-match series. It will be a miracle if Sri Lanka manage to pull this chase off.
The 16 overs that they batted during the final 85 minutes of the fourth day's play was with an aim to survive rather than play positive cricket. If the scoreboard is anything to go by, the ploy boomeranged on the visitors, who were again seen wearing anti-pollution masks, the second time in the game. The pitch has not deteriorated much but it is the straighter deliveries from the spinners that are causing maximum damage. Mohammed Shami (1/8 in 3 overs), who was unwell after a three-over burst, bowled a hostile spell and accounted for Sadeera Samarawickrama (5). ()