Ravichandran Ashwin registered the best bowling figures by an Indian in Sri Lanka in the first innings of the first Test at Galle © AFP
Ravichandran Ashwin registered the best bowling figures by an Indian in Sri Lanka in the first innings of the first Test at Galle © AFP

Former Sri Lanka captain and batting star, Mahela Jayawardene, wrote that Ravichandran Ashwin’s impactful bowling on the first day of the first Test will inspire India. He also mentioned about Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Wriddhiman Saha’s batting. Jayawardene wrote in his column for Times of India, “India are clearly in the driving seat going into the third day of the first Test. They have dominated the first two days in emphatic fashion and the loss of both Sri Lankan openers in the final four overs of day two was a cruel blow to the home team.” WATCH VIDEO: Ajinkya Rahane takes superb catch to dismiss Kumar Sangakkara for final time at Galle

“India will be thrilled that R Ashwin made such an impact on the opening day and by the batting of skipper Virat [Kohli], Shikar Dhawan and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha on Thursday. Their only disappointment will have been that they ended up with a lead of 192 when, at 255 for two, they were on course for a mountainous lead. In all probability it’s still a winning lead, but they have left Sri Lanka a glimmer of hope of posting a tricky small target in turning conditions.” READ: Ravichandran Ashwin creates history during Day 1, India vs Sri Lanka 2015 1st Test at Galle

Jayawardene stated that despite winning a crucial toss, Sri Lanka failed to put up a good score and ended up playing poor strokes. “Sri Lanka had won an important toss as batting first in Galle is traditionally a clear advantage. You pile up the runs and let the pitch wear. It’s never been an easy place to bat, but if you work hard and adjust to the slow pace and turn you can make big scores. They would have been hoping for a 350-plus total and must have been bitterly disappointed with just 183. There was a bit of turn to assist Ashwin, possibly more in the morning with some tackiness to the pitch, but we batted badly and played some poor strokes.”

Jayawardene expressed disappointment in watching Kumar Sangakkara bat down at No. 4. “I was surprised and disappointed to see Kumar [Sangakkara] being pushed down the order to No. 4. His record at No. 3, this position for over a decade, is exceptional. The reason for that is that he has the technical skills and mental strength to take control during this critical early phase of an innings. Perhaps the selectors and management had one eye on the future. But why could they not just wait two games and then make the changes when Kumar retires?” WATCH VIDEO: Kumar Sangakkara’s final walk back at Galle

“The best batsman Sri Lanka has ever had deserves that kind of respect. He will be disappointed but philosophical about his first innings dismissal because that was a freak catch at silly point. You don’t expect to get caught there off a punch. He will now be determined to make amends and try to lead the fight back in the second innings.”

“Sri Lanka will need to take things session by session and hope their big guns -Kumar and Angelo -can fire with some support from the others. They need to get through the new-ball period because once the ball softens it will become much easier as the pace of the Galle pitch slows down,” concluded Jayawardene.