Former Indian batsman Virender Sehwag has slammed the Sri Lankan players for disrupting the ongoing 3rd Test match against India, making a fuss about the weather and complaining about having difficulties in breathing, stopping play for 26 minutes on three occasions. The 3rd Test match is being played in the national capital, New Delhi.
Sehwag feels that this is a planned strategy by the Lankans, causing Virat Kohli to lose his concentration and declare early on day 2 of the final Test match of the series. Sehwag who is India TV's expert analyst has blasted the visitors for the unsportsmanlike conduct on the field.
"It wasn't like the weather changed in the afternoon. It was the same today morning and yesterday as well and it seems like it was the Sri Lanka players strategy to stop Virat Kohli from getting to 300. They kept complaining about the pollution, saying that their players had difficulties in breathing. People in the dressing room had no masks on, they didn't face any problems. It's not like it's any less different in the inside than the outside or they air purifiers installed", said Sehwag to India TV.
The former batsman stated that the visitors didn't want the Indian skipper to reach the 300 run landmark, thus causing Kohli to lose focus. Sehwag compared the two teams, stating that the hosts India had no problem in playing in this condition and also exemplified a similar situation when India played Sri Lanka in 2010 where the neighbours didn't want him to make his century.
"It's all a strategy to stop Kohli as it seemed like he was nearly there to reach the 300 landmark.
It's not the first time that the Lankans have behaved this way. In 2010, I was on 99 and they bowled a No-Ball, we won the match as we needed a run to win. They do put up a good acting performance. When they came on to bat, no batsman had on any masks, did the pollution level reduce all of a sudden then? It was the same. The Indian players batted and fielded in the same condition and they didn't complain regarding the matter. The Sri Lanka Board should think about whatever their players did was wrong", said Sehwag.
After all the ruckus and unprecedented turn of events that happened on the second day of the final Test match, Sehwag feels that the Umpire David Boon should give his report to the ICC regarding the act Sri Lanka played up. The former opener didn't shy away from stating that India will clinch the Test series 2-0 and would have won the first Test if it wasn't for the rain.
"Umpire David Boone should give his report to the ICC regarding the matter that went down, this is not sportsmanship conduct. India are on the verge of winning the Test match and might win if they play the full the five days. India will win the series 2-0 and would have won the 1st Test if it wasn't for the rain', said Sehwag.
"The Sri Lankan players practised two days before the match and the weather didn't change much neither did the pollution level reduce. The Lankans should have made the decision before hand if they wanted to play the match or not. Once the play starts, they shouldn't have stopped the match stating that the pollution is causing a disturbance. ICC should take action against the Sri Lanka players".
"The Lankan players could have requested the BCCI to host the match in some other city two days before the match if they felt uncomfortable. But it seems like it was all a plan to stop Kohli from reaching 300 runs, a way to take his concentration off the match and get him out. Kohli got livid during the match, threw his bat on the ground due to frustration but managed to control his anger", added Sehwag.
Sehwag complimented the Indian skipper commenting that Kohli made a good decision to declare early and put the Lankans to bat and hilariously mentioned that the visitors can never dream of projecting such a score on the board the way India do.
"We have to laud Kohli on the fact that he wanted the team to win so they declared early and show the Sri Lankan players that they have no problem in fielding and put them to bat after scoring 536 runs as I feel that Sri Lanka can never dream of projecting such a score. India will wrap up the match in the next two days".
During the match when the Lankans paused the game to talk to the umpires, Kohli clearly lost his focus and threw the bat on the ground due to frustration. Sehwag said that Kohli will have to keep his calm when such unforeseen situations arise.
"Kohli will have to learn how to control his aggression on the field, when other teams behave in a disorderly conduct, they will have to keep their calm".
The former batsman did point out that India dropped two catches in the slip covers which may have been costly. Shikhar Dhawan and Kohli dropped catches in the slip cover when Sri Lanka was put to bat.
"Two catches were dropped in the slip position by Dhawan and Kohli which were costly. Ishant, Shami's bowling could have got them out and then the spinners could have collected wickets, 6-7 wickets could have come in hand so the fielders should practice more on the slip covers so that they don't miss out on such opportunities like this", concluded Sehwag.