Nuwan Pradeep lone bright spot for Sri Lanka in Galle cricket Test vs India
Nuwan Pradeep was the stand-out bowler for Sri Lanka as he returned his maiden five-wicket haul as the hosts had a torrid time in the Galle cricket Test against IndiaUpdated: Jul 27, 2017 18:38 IST
The Galle Test between Sri Lanka and India has provided very little cheer to Rangana Herath’s team. India’s batsmen, led by Shikhar Dhawan (190) and Cheteshwar Pujara (153) demoralised the Sri Lankan bowlers. Ajinkya Rahane’s 12th fifty and an attacking half-century on debut by Hardik Pandya helped India to 600, the highest first innings score by an away team in Tests in Sri Lanka. Amidst all the gloom for the hosts, one player has stood tall, Nuwan Pradeep. (HIGHLIGHTS | SCORECARD)
Nuwan Pradeep gave Sri Lanka something to smile as he picked up 6 for 132, his maiden five-wicket haul. The right-arm pacer was the only bowler who made India’s top order think with great lines, lengths and pace.
Pradeep made an impact on the first day on Wednesday when he removed Abhinav Mukund, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli. His dismissal of the India skipper was well planned as he cramped Kohli up with a short ball on leg stump.
On day two, 30-year-old Nuwan Pradeep continued to hit the right lengths and areas. Cheteshwar Pujara, who had scored his fourth 150-plus score, was dismissed by a good length ball that straightened outside off and the batsman could only edge it to the wicketkeeper, Niroshan Dickwella.
The Sri Lankan pacer continued to bowl a mix of full and short balls and he got his fifth wicket when Ravichandran Ashwin gloved a short ball and picked up his sixth wicket with a perfect yorker to Ravindra Jadeja.
Although Hardik Pandya and Mohammed Shami ruined his figures towards the end, Pradeep’s effort of 6 for132 were his best bowling effort in his career and it represented the only bright spot for what has been a forgettable Test for Sri Lanka, so far.
It was right-arm fast-medium bowler’s first five-wicket haul in 47 innings of 25 Test matches. His previous best was four for 62 against India in Colombo in 2015
Nuwan Pradeep’s 24-Test career has witnessed plenty of ups and downs. Before he even played a Test, he was laid low by injuries that forced him to miss tours to England and South Africa. After making his debut, Pradeep had a rough start when he picked up only one wicket in five Tests spread over three years.
However, during Sri Lanka’s tour to England in 2014, Pradeep finally found his consistency and he played a vital role in Sri Lanka’s Test series win.
During the India series in 2015, the Sri Lankan pacer picked up eight wickets in two Tests, including a haul of 4/62 in the SSC Test which remained his best bowling figures. His performance in Galle 2017 has summed up his value to a Sri Lankan team that is in a transitional phase.