Sri Lanka's time-wasting tactics to save Test match at Kolkata a fair deal, says KL Rahul

India and Sri Lanka will now face each other in the second match at Nagpur starting November 24

India’s opening batsman KL Rahul on November 20 called Sri Lanka’s time-wasting tactics to save the first Test match at the Eden Gardens as ‘fair’, adding that that’s how the game of cricket is played. The first Test match between India and Sri Lanka ended in a draw on Day 5 after on-field umpires called off the day due to bad light ahead of the scheduled time.

Team India made a strong comeback in their second innings after being dismissed at 172 in the first innings. Riding on 104 not out by skipper Virat Kohli, team India (352/8 declare) set the 231 runs target for the Sri Lankans with almost two sessions remaining on the last day of the first Test.

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Sri Lankans got off to a bad start while chasing a target of 231 as they lost four top-order batsmen in under 12 overs. Niroshan Dickwella, who came into bat at number 5 after the fall of Angelo Mathew’s (12) wicket, tried to waste as much time as he could during his stay at the crease to take the Test match towards a draw.

After the 15th over, Dickwella tried time-wasting tactics by indulging in a long chat with his partner Dinesh Chandimal. Ravichandran Ashwin pointed out the delay and forced on-field umpire Nigel Llong to intervene in the matter.

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During the 19th over, Dickwella again took some ‘extra’ time to settle down. He even stopped Indian pacer Mohammed Shami in between during his run-up. Dickwella’s this attitude riled up Shami as he walked towards Dickwella with anger.

After 25th over, SL batsmen raised an objection about the bad light with the on-field umpires, following which they called off the day ahead of the scheduled time. Sri Lankans were then tottering at 75/7.

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During the post-match conference, KL Rahul said that we (Indian team) would have done the same thing to save a Test match.

It’s a tricky thing if we were in a situation like that we would have done the same thing. That’s how its played, that’s how the game is played nobody wants to lose.

Asked about his reaction to Sri Lankan’s time-wasting tactics, he said,

These tricks and traits are played by every team, so there is nothing unfair about it.

Reacting to the team’s comeback from 172 all-out in the first innings to 230 runs lead in the second innings, Rahul said,

We played really well. How we started…we were nothing for three and to come back into the game and make a game out of this is commendable. This shows how well we evolved as a young team in the last couple of years. Yes we would have loved to win this game…

He added,

On a wicket like that it would have been great if we got five days of cricket. We enjoyed playing on the wicket and it was challenging. These are the kind of matches you look forward to. Maybe, five or six overs we could have made a match out of it.

KL Rahul termed this encounter as a good experience saying,

It was a good experience for all of us. Personally, I haven’t played a game like this which is rain-curtailed for two days and then went down to the wire.

Both the teams will now face each other in the second match at Nagpur starting November 24.