Day 2 of the India vs Sri Lanka’s second Test at Colombo clearly belonged to the visitors as they were on top of their game in every department, be it batting, fielding or bowling. Sri Lanka are currently trailing by 572 runs in the first innings with 8 wickets in hand and their openers shown the door back to the hut. Upul Tharanga got out for a duck whereas Dimuth Karunaratne could only score 25 before losing his wicket to Ravichandran Ashwin. India’s all-rounder Ashwin picked up the two wickets with the new ball which pushed the hosts on the back foot with threat of yet another defeat looming over them. Ashwin also became the fastest cricketer to achieve Test double of 250 wickets and 2,000 Test runs.

Kusal Mendis and skipper Dinesh Chandimal now have a huge responsibility on their shoulders. Earlier Sri Lankan bowlers took charge of the proceedings by taking the wickets of overnight centurions Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara. But, Ashwin and Wriddhiman Saha did not let the bowlers dominate and were able to score half centuries. Ravindra Jadeja too scored a half century and played a crucial role in taking India’s score past 600.

KL Rahul replaced Abhinav Mukund in the playing XI perfectly. He scored a half century in the first innings and then took a blinder at short leg position to dismiss Upul Tharanga for a duck. It was an unbelievable catch at short leg which favoured an early wicket to the Indian side and also gave the much-needed confidence to Ashwin, who opened the bowling attack for India.

It will take a great effort from Sri Lankan batsmen to avoid a second defeat, especially when the pitch is a dry one and is expected to assist the spinners. If Sri Lanka do not post a first innings total of more than 422, they might not be able to avoid follow on this time around.