It was all drama in the second session of the third Test in Delhi. Sri Lanka under the leadership of Dinesh Chandimal was seen to wear masks in between the game stating reasons of smog. Coming back from lunch, several Sri Lankan cricketers including captain Dinesh Chandimal, Suranga Lakmal and Lakash Sadakanan were seen spotting wearing face masks on the field. The sight of seeing cricketers with the masks bothered the commentators Sanjay Manjrekar and Russel Arnold who both agreed it will get difficult to play with masks on. They further said that seamers will particularly face difficulty while bowling.
If this was a strategy then they were successful to some extent as they dismissed R Ashwin and Virat Kohli in quick successions. Seeing the drama still being carried on by the Sri Lankan players, Kohli decided to declare at 536 for 7 just after he was dismissed. It is the first time ever in the history of international cricket that a Test match was held up due to pollution concerns.
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Soon after India declared and Sri Lanka came into bat, Mohd Shami in his very first over dismissed Dimuth Karunaratne for a duck in the very first ball of their innings. Sri Lanka have now a tough task at hand, to weather the storm of the Delhi smog and the Indian bowling attack.
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Here is how Twitter users reacted to Sri Lanka’s “smog drama”.
Someone needs to inform the SriLankan players that the masks they are wearing are of no use. You need a minimum of N95 masks to avoid breathing in the really tiny particulate matter. You are better off without those ordinary cloth masks.#INDvsSL— Nikhil Naz (@NikhilNaz) December 3, 2017
Play being halted due to smog/pollution in Delhi has to be a wake up call for everybody ! Like seriously !— Archana Vijaya (@archanavijaya) December 3, 2017
This stalemate is going nowhere. Either you play with masks or go off. It looks terrible but you have to find the best possible way of keeping the game going.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) December 3, 2017
How embarrassing to see international cricketers having to wear masks to deal with Delhi's pollution.— Vikram Chandra (@vikramchandra) December 3, 2017
Will be amusing if Kohli declares and Sri Lanka’s openers come out to bat with masks on #INDvSL— Gaurav Kalra (@gauravkalra75) December 3, 2017
Wearing masks at smoggy Kotla, Sri Lankan’s deliver a message & rebuke. Delhi shd be banned from cricket in winter till things improve pic.twitter.com/nUUjagcjvj— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) December 3, 2017
Ok, here’s a first. Smog could be stopping play here. Sri Lankan fielders complaining of feeling ill in Delhi. Could they concede the Test? @SkyCricket— mark butcher (@markbutcher72) December 3, 2017
Can we see a match abandoned for poor air? #INDvSL— Gappistan Radio (@GappistanRadio) December 3, 2017