New Delhi: Opener Shikhar Dhawan turned in a neat little cameo as India set out to post a target for Sri Lanka on day four of the third and final Test match at the Kotla, racking up a tidy half-century. Clearly, hopes for a record-equalling ninth series win on the trot are high in the dressing room and Dhawan himself was pleased with his effort.
"There were instructions to score quick runs so that we could have enough to put them in again today itself. We had to shift gears otherwise I would have batted differently. I enjoyed playing that way. We will be trying hard to finish it tomorrow as we are in good situation with Sri Lanka three wickets down."
Inevitable, questions veered towards the vexed pollution issue. Said the Delhi batsman, "Look I am born and brought up in Delhi. This is the time of crop harvesting in some states, this month pollution is a wee bit more. Also this time, we haven’t experienced good sunshine. May be if there was sunshine, pollution would have been less.
"I don’t think playing cricket was a problem. As far as Shami is concerned, he is fine and you will see him in action tomorrow.
"There are a lot of players in our team also who are not used to this pollution thing in Delhi as they come from other states. But if you have been assigned a job, you can’t let anything come on its way. That’s my thinking because not everyone in our team is from Delhi. The situation is same for them also.
"Look, if you are playing in Delhi at some other point of time, the pollution won’t affect you. I would never say that there is no pollution in Delhi. Of course there is pollution, but during the winters as there is a lot of smog, so whatever the situation is, we need to adjust accordingly. When you are playing for your country, you have to do your job."
On the tests run for some of his players by a DDCA invitee, Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas said: "There was some tests done. I’ve no idea what they were. At the end today, Shami was also struggling.
"The guys did superbly well to deal with the situation. I am not a doctor. I’ve no idea what these tests tell you, what we are testing?"