Bharat Arun was in no mood to let Sri Lankan players off the hook easily after all the drama that went down on Day 2 of the third Test at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium, Delhi. Dinesh Chandimal & Co. tried to stop the match time and time again due to smog. Most of the Sri Lankan players were wearing masks on the field and the fast bowlers Lahiru Gamage and Suranga Lakmal left the field after one of them was throwing up on the ground. Eventually Virat Kohli had to declare the first innings out of frustration. Though Sri Lankan players did not wear masks while batting on Day 2.
Arun gave Kohli’s example to shut the Sri Lankans. He said,
I think Virat batted close to two days. He did not need a mask and also we are focused on what we need to do. We are very well focused on what we need to achieve as a team. So, I think the conditions are the same for both, so we are not bothered about it.
He did not think that India declared too early, just because of everything that was going down on the field between Sri Lankan players and the Umpires.
We were looking at a total of 550. It was pretty close to that and we thought we might as well declare.
He lauded the bowling of Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma as well. The duo took one wicket each in the first innings. He feels that the pitch is still better for the batsmen.
Here’s the video of Arun’s post-Day 2 press conference –
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The 54-year-old went on to bash the Sri Lankan players.
I think the umpires and the match referee, they have a job on hand and it is not upto the players to go and protest. They know what they are doing. When the play was unnecessarily being stopped we just wanted to get on with the game because our focus was to do well in this Test match and win this Test match. Well, they wanted to probably stress upon the fact that pollution and the focus is totally different. It could have broken the rhythm, yes! But, again at that point we have to move on that’s why Ravi (Shastri) went on to the field and get on with the game.
India declared the first innings on 536 runs for 7 wickets. Sri Lanka are already struggling having lost three wickets in the first innings already. They still have to score 207 more runs to avoid follow on.