We focussed on playing: Indian bowling coach on Delhi pollution irking Lanka

People sign a billboard during a signature campaign against pollution in New Delh

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Wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Perera, who has not appeared in global cricket since an injury he sustained in the Champions Trophy, has been recalled in the 16-man Sri Lanka squad for the three-match ODI series against India, beginning on December 10 at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) stadium, Dharamsala.

In the wake of Delhi's air pollution levels taking centre stage during the third and final test match between India and Sri Lanka, Indian bowling coach Bharat Arun on Sunday said the Indian cricket team was focussed on playing the match and achieving for the country.

The cricketers returned on Monday for day three of the third Test even as air pollution at Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla stadium soared to hit 18 times the World Health Organization's safe level.

Delhi's government has been widely criticised over measures taken to combat pollution, and for allowing the cricket Test between India and Sri Lanka to go ahead. "States of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have already filed the same", the NGT said. The AQI, as recorded by the CPCB, also reflected the rise in the levels of these ultrafine air-borne particulates.

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Delhi's air quality on Monday slipped into severe-plus emergency zone again with a sharp rise in the level of Particulate Matter (PM) throughout the day and National Ambient Air Quality Index (NAAQI) degrading the region with "dark red". The AQI was 390, on a scale of 500, around 3.30 p.m. However, it is menacingly close to the "severe" category.

An AQI from 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 Satisfactory, 101-200 Moderate, 201-300 Poor, 301-400 Very Poor, and 401-500 Severe. "As far as (Mohammed) Shami is concerned, he is fine and you will see him in action tomorrow", said the India opener. The IMD has forecast possibility of light rains on December 5 and 6. The weather will remain cloudy on Tuesday, said the weather forecast. The humidity levels oscillated between 39 and 94 per cent.

The maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to hover around 23 and 11 degrees Celsius respectively on Tuesday.

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