India Vs Sri Lanka: India play on front-foot after Pujara, Rahane dominance on Day 1 of second Test

Clinching a dominant victory in the first test match of Indian’s tour to Sri Lanka, the men in blues are once again back in an attacking form. With India’s two key batsmen, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteswhwar Pujara smashing centuries in the opening day of the second test, team India evidently makes their position strong at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground of Sri Lanka.

With a convincing fourth wicket partnership of 211 runs, Pujara (128*) and Rahane (103*) have finished the first day in a positive note for India, taking the scores to 344 for three in 90 overs. Back from a long injury-lay off, opener KL Rahul has set up a place in the team as a consistent batsman for the long format game, with six successive half-centuries but was well-supported by the middle-orders in this test match.

Even as Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the crucial toss to take advantages over Sri Lanka’s expectation to make use of a dry track, India’s top order seemingly frittered before Rahane and Pujare came to the rescue. In an attempt to come back in a much strategic move, after losing the Galle test by 304 runs, Sri Lanka came up with a much stronger spin attack. But the attempt to put pressure on India’s batting line-up worked briefly, as even after they framed stroke-players like Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, the middle-order took charge to push the hosts on back foot.

Interestingly, this was the 50th Test of Pujara who was playing at the same field where he started his turnaround in 2015 with a spectacular 145 not out. And with his 13th century, crossing the mark of 4000 Test runs Pujara marked himself undoubtedly successful within the SSC 2015 to SSC 2017 cycle.

Today’s performance was even important for Rahane, who has not scored a century in his last nine Test matches and 19 innings, after scoring 188 against New Zealand at Indore in 2016.

By Priyam Mukhopadhyay

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