Confident of making a game out of it: Cheteshwar Pujara

ANI | Updated: Nov 18, 2017 23:02 IST

Kolkata [India], November 18 (ANI): Though Sri Lanka are trailing India by just seven runs at the end of Day Three of the opening Test of the three-match series at the Eden Gardens here, Right-handed batsman Cheteshwar Pujara is confident that India will still make a game out it.

Pujara's 52 on a seaming Eden Gardens track helped India post 172 in the first innings as none of the other batsmen from Virat Kohli-led side scored above the 30-run mark.

Following it Sri Lanka batsmen put up a decent show with the bat to reach 165-4 at stumps on the Day Three.

"At this stage I think we are very much in the game. Obviously the wicket has got a little better, but at the same time we got to 170-odd runs [172] and we've now got four wickets. I think we're very confident that if the weather permits, we'll try and make a game out of it," Pujara said.

India played the first two days under overcast skies and the game witnessed intermittent halts due to drizzling, which might account to India's rare batting failure on home ground.

Speaking at a press conference here, Pujara said, "This is not a wicket where you'd get 350 or 400 on the board. It's a wicket where we might have added 30-40 runs more, but I think 170 is still a decent total considering the way the wicket was behaving in the first two days."

As the sun casted rays on the ground, the wicket got little better and the 29-year-old believed that this would help the fast bowlers to bring wickets for the side.

He opined, "Today even the weather was much better, there weren't clouds around. When clouds were around, there was more help for the fast bowlers, but when we were fielding the sun was out. The wicket was slightly damp and now because of sun shine the wicket got a little better, but at the same time there is something for the fast bowlers.

However, senior batsman Angelo Mathews (52) and first-drop Lahiru Thirimanne (51) displayed calm and composed performance as they not only struck half-centuries but also shared a decent 99-run stand for third wicket to give Lanka an edge in the ongoing Test.

Replying to India, the islanders made a slow start to their innings but senior batsman Angelo Mathews (52) and first-drop Lahiru Thirimanne (51) displayed calm performance to share a decent 99-run partnership.

Pujara added, "We don't have enough runs on the board. The way they started off... but we fought back and we're now very well balanced. Hopefully tomorrow morning our fast bowlers will be fresh, and if we get a couple of wickets, we can run through them."

Sri Lanka will resume the game on fourth day with captain Dinesh Chandimal (13*) and Niroshan Dickwella (14*) batting at the crease. (ANI)

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