Day four of the third Test between India and Australia could possibly be the day that decides the outcome of not only the match but the series.
The two teams are evenly poised going into play on Sunday, with both sides looking to take a first innings lead which is likely to play a crucial role in the result of the game.
India will bank on overnight centurion Cheteshwar Pujara to carry on from where he left off on Saturday, while the Australians will hope to bat as soon as possible.
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Former Sri Lanka batsman Aravinda de Silva tipped his hat to left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, saying the veteran spinner has been remarkable over the years and the records set by him will be tough to break.
Herath became the most successful left-arm spinner during the first Test against Bangladesh in Galle, with his 363rd scalp, and then went on to claim his 1,000th first-class wicket in the second match.
Needless to say, the 38-year-old is the man of the moment in Sri Lankan cricket and De Silva is happy he has managed to carve a niche for himself after waiting in the wings with spin great Muttiah Muralitharan in the national team.
“He has done very well. He has been an under-rated bowler for so long. Rangana has achieved a lot in the last couple of years and must definitely be among the top when it comes to spin bowling,” De Silva told Sport360 on the sidelines of the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai.
“He always had a lot of talent. Unfortunately because of Murali in the team, he was not able to break into the side. But he has been patient. It is good Sri Lanka kept him (in the mix) without exerting him too much, so we have an experienced bowler now.”
Despite becoming the second Sri Lankan bowler to cross the 1,000 first-class wickets mark, after Muralitharan, De Silva said it is not right to compare the two.
“Him and Murali are two different bowlers. However, Rangana’s experience has really helped the team as well, with the kind of variations and knowledge he has. It will be tough for bowlers to take 1000 first-class wickets.”
The World Cup winning batsman added that while there are a few talented spinners around, filling the shoes of Herath once he leaves the scene will be tough.
“There are quite a few guys in the wings. But I don’t know if they will be able to achieve the same results.”
There has been some bad blood between the two sides in the ongoing Test series between India and Australia and on day three of the third Test, there was another incident that caught the eye.
Australia cricketer Glenn Maxwell was seen holding his shoulder after he dived to save a boundary, which many believe was him mocking India captain Virat Kohli.
Kohli had injured his shoulder on Thursday and had sat out the rest of the Australian innings as a precaution. He came out to bat in his regular position on Saturday.
In the press conference after the end of day’s play, India opener Murali Vijay played down the incident – stating that the Indian team are currently focused on the match.
“To be honest, we are really focused on (the) game and we have a match in hand so we got to go close to their (Australia) target and these are the things running in our heads in the dressing room,” said Vijay.
“All the players are aware of it and whatever they are doing, we take it as a sportive thing and there’s going to be a second innings. So, hopefully (if) they can take it that way, it will be great.”
Vijay scored 82 as India ended day three on 360/6 – 91 runs behind Australia’s first innings total.
Here is the video of the incident, via the BCCI.