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In Pics: Sri Lanka’s Pollution Affliction Forces Virat to Declare

Virat Kohli was forced to declare after two Sri Lankan bowlers left the field during Day 2 of Delhi Test.

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3 min read

In a morning filled with high-octane drama, Sri Lankan cricketers were forced to wear masks, while fielding on the second day of the third and final Test in Delhi.

However, as the day went on, the worsening air quality in the National Capital Region became a worry for the visiting team, whose players seemed to be getting increasingly affected by the pollution.

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The smog eventually held up play twice on Day 2 and 22 minutes were lost in total at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi. Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal was seen discussing the situation with the on-field umpires.

The stop and play certainly disturbed Ravichandran Ashwin’s concentration as he was immediately dismissed by Gamage, who also left the field in the 125th over without completing the proceedings.

Suranga Lakmal completed his over, but within a few minutes, also left after complaining of uneasiness. The constant breaks in play affected Kohli’s concentration and he was trapped too.

Amidst the confusion, it was soon realised that there were only 10 Sri Lankan cricketers on the field since no one had come in to replace Lakmal.

As the visitors continued to discuss the air quality with Umpires Nigel Llong and Joel Wilson, Sri Lankan team physio and fielding coach changed to whites to take field as substitutes.

However, they didn’t need to step onto the field since Virat Kohli had enough, and decided to declare India’s first innings at 536/7. While it wasn’t the most pleasant declaration, the Indian skipper’s gestures seemed to suggest that the hosts would come out to bowl if the visitors weren’t willing to do so.

No Masks Required While Batting?

However, when the Sri Lankans came out to bat, none of the batsmen needed pollution masks in the middle.

Dimuth Karunaratne and Dhananjaya de Silva were back in the hut by the sixth over, but Dilruwan Perera, Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal managed to get starts to keep Sri Lanka hopeful of getting close to India’s total.

Mathews and Chandimal ended Day 2 at 131/3.

Twitter, of course, was flooding with fans adding their 280 characters’ worth of anger.

(Breathe In, Breathe Out: Are you finding it tough to breathe polluted air? Join hands with FIT in partnership with #MyRightToBreathe to find a solution to pollution. Send in your suggestions to fit@thequint.com or WhatsApp @ +919999008335)

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