Colombo: Team India spinner Ravindra Jadeja praised Sri Lanka batsman Kusal Mendis for the resistance he put up against Virat Kohli and co, who took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match Test series on Sunday.
India remained completely dominant in the second Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo, as they won by an innings and 53 runs on Sunday; Jadeja received the Man of the Match award after picking up a total of seven wickets during the match and scoring unbeaten 70 as India amassed 622 after electing to bat.
However, the left-arm spinner was all praises for the Sri Lankan batters, who put up a stiff resistance in the second innings, after being asked to follow on by India captain Virat Kohli.
Opener Dimuth Karunaratne (141) and no. 3 batsman Kusal Mendis (110) lead the charge for the Lankans in the second innings, as they put up a 313-ball partnership that cost India 191 runs.
While Karunaratne absorbed all the pressure exerted by the Indian bowlers, playing with a strike rate of 43.82, Mendis was the one who led the counter attack, scoring at a rate of 81.48 during the partnership.
“Mendis played very well and played some brilliant shots. Yeah, they batted very well,” said Jadeja at the post match presentation ceremony, where he was awarded the MoM award. “As a spinner, it is always a challenge when a batsman plays a sweep shot on a regular basis. We have to change our field and line and length.”
It was however, the combination of India’s famous spin-duo, who did the trick against the Lankans. While Ravichandran Ashwin (5-69) picked up a five-for in the first innings, Jadeja (5-152) did the same in the second, with both the spinners picking up 14 wickets between themselves in the match.
Jadeja (32 Tests), who became the second fastest Indian to pick up 150 Test wickets after Ravichandran Ashwin (29 Tests), indicated after the match, the conditions of the pitch were much different in the second innings, enabling him to pick up this five-wicket haul.
“In the first innings, the ball was not turning that much. When we came on to bowl, we got turn from the middle part of the wicket,” he concluded....