Kohli, haze leave SL dazed in New Delhi

03 December 2017

A record high for India's captain and dizzying levels of smog make life tough for Sri Lanka on day two

India v Sri Lanka Tests, Third Test


India captain Virat Kohli smashed a career-best 243, his second successive double hundred, before a blanket of smog prompted him to declare on 7-536 in the third and final Test against Sri Lanka in New Delhi.

The home side's attack then turned the screws even further on the visitors when they reduced Sri Lanka to 3-131 on Sunday.

Angelo Mathews capitalised on an early reprieve to score 57 not out and skipper Dinesh Chandimal was on 25 with Sri Lanka still 405 behind at stumps after a hazy second day in the Indian capital.

Sri Lanka struggle in thick Delhi smog

Several Sri Lankan players returned from the lunch break sporting face masks as the seasonal haze affecting the region thickened over the Feroz Shah Kotla Ground.

The smog eventually held up play twice and 22 minutes was lost in total as Lahiru Gamage and his pace colleague Suranga Lakmal both left the field during the second session as they found it difficult to breathe.

Umpires Nigel Llong and Joel Wilson were discussing the air quality with the tourists when Kohli signalled his team in.

"We were looking at a total of 550, it was pretty close to that. So we thought we might as well declare," India bowling coach Bharat Arun said, dismissing suggestions it was a forced declaration.

Until then, the stadium's near-capacity crowd was treated to some elegant shot-making by Kohli, who hit 25 crisp boundaries in his master class spread over seven-and-a-half hours.

The 29-year-old became the first international captain to score six double centuries, all of them coming in the last 17 months.

His latest looked a mere formality after India, chasing a record-equalling ninth consecutive Test series victory, resumed on 4-371.

"His absolute focus, attention to details, in terms of fitness, game preparation, his skills, he's spot on," Arun said.

"He's an example of what you need to be as a cricketer. That shows in his success rate."

Kohli's partner in a 135-run fifth-wicket stand, Rohit Sharma, smacked left-arm wrist-spinner Lakshan Sandakan (4-167) over long off for a six but all eyes were on Kohli as he approached the 200-mark.

The skipper took two runs off Lakmal to bring up his double century, celebrating it by leaping into the air before removing his helmet to acknowledge the applause.

India XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma

Sri Lanka XI: Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dimuth Karunaratne, Roshen Silva, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal (c), Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Lahiru Gamage, Suranga Lakmal