Sri Lanka Vs India First Test commenced with Virat Kohli winning the toss and deciding to bat first. It paid off as his batsmen helped the visitors to be on top at the end of Day 1 in the First Test at Galle . As Stumps were called for the day, the visitors were sitting pretty at 399/3 with Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane all set to take guard on Day 2.
Quite a few players from both sides were under the spotlight in this particular series. Let’s look who fared and who failed on the first day.
The dashing left-hander from Delhi missed 11 tests for India on the trot and was given an opportunity today as Murali Vijay was injured and KL Rahul was ill. Dhawan grabbed the opportunity with both hands as he smashed a his 5th test match century
Dhawan started off at a steady pace and accelerated in the latter half of his innings. Dhawan sent the ball to the boundary as many as 31 times and became only the third Indian after Virender Sehwag and Polly Umrigar to score 100 or more runs in the second session of day in a test match. Dhawan scored 126 runs off 90 balls in the second session and fell short by 10 runs of maiden double hundred as Nuwan Pradeep sent him off for 190 off 168 deliveries.
Pujara played yet another classic innings, scoring his 12th test century in his 49th test match. He added 253 runs for the second wicket along with Shikhar Dhawan and later built an undefeated stand of 113 with Ajinkya Rahane for the fourth. This was Pujara’s second successive hundred in as many tests in the island nation as he had carried the bat for India in the third test in 2015. Pujara’s showed no intent of taking risks and tired the bowlers out with his technique and patience. At the end of day’s play, Pujara was unbeaten on 144 off 246 balls with 12 fours.
On a dull outing for home team, pacer Nuwan Pradeep was the only silver lining. Pradeep started off well, swinging the ball away from the two left-handed openers and finding success in the form of Mukund’s wicket early in the day. He returned to dismiss the lethal-looking Dhawan by making him play a slower delivery down to mid-off. Virat Kohli followed Dhawan soon after Tea, trying to pull a short delivery, only to edge it to the wicketkeeper. Pradeep ended the day with figures of 3/64 in 18 overs.
Mukund failed to utilize the opportunity given to him yet again. He looked agitated the entire time during his stay at the crease and was soon dismissed for just 12 runs as he nicked one by Pradeep to the wicketkeeper.
Considering the form he was in, skipper Virat Kohli was expected to take charge of things when he came to the crease. However, he was hoodwinked by Pradeep who got him with a short delivery and a very faint edge. Kohli reviewed it unsuccessfully and had to take the long walk back.
On a dry turf, Herath was expected to hold the reins for his team. But that wasn’t the case as Herath was taken for runs, especially by Pujara and Dhawan who used their feet well against him. Herath had no wickets to his name was taken for 92 runs in 24 overs.