‘You can’t just play very negatively’ – Shreyas Iyer on tough batting conditions in the Bangalore Day-Night Test against Sri Lanka

Iyer scored 92 off 98 balls in India's first innings

India batter Shreyas Iyer reckoned that conditions in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Bangalore aren’t batting-friendly by any stretch of the imagination. On Day one of the second Test at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, as many as 16 wickets went down. At Stumps on the first day, the visitors trailed by 166 runs with only four wickets left in their first innings.

India also couldn’t produce much after being bowled out for 252. The Lankan spinners did the bulk of the work as the trio of Lasith Embuldeniya, Praveen Jayawickrama and Dhananjaya de Silva picked up eight wickets. Iyer, who made his Test debut against New Zealand last year, was the standout batter for the hosts as he made a 98-ball 92 with 10 fours and four sixes.

Even as wickets went down at the other end, Iyer kept playing his shots with utmost ease. On his attacking approach, the right-hander said that batters wouldn’t survive for long if they took a defensive approach on a difficult pitch to bat.

It’s obviously bowler-friendly: Shreyas Iyer on pitch conditions in second Bangalore Test

“I personally felt that fifty was like a century. That’s why I celebrated like that. It was like a century feeling for me,” Iyer said.

“You saw the players who defended the ball, there was a lot of chance of nicking, and there was variable bounce. You can’t just play very negatively and just keep defending the ball. The wicket is not that great. It’s obviously bowler-friendly,” he added.

Iyer’s knock came to an end after Jayawickrama got him stumped by Niroshan Dickwella in the 60th over of the Indian innings. It was also India’s last wicket to go down in their first innings.

Apart from Iyer, it was Rishabh Pant, who threw the kitchen sink at everything while batting. The left-handed batter smashed 39 runs off 26 balls and played at a strike rate of 150. It was Embuldeniya, who castled him and gave the Lankans a much-needed breather.

After getting bowled out inside 60 overs, India have reduced the visitors to 86 for six in 30 overs. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami picked up three and two wickets respectively. Angelo Mathews looked good on 43, but perished to Bumrah.

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