Galle [Sri Lanka]: Blistering centuries from Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara helped India attain a strong position on the very first day of the opening Test against Sri Lanka at the Galle International Stadium on Wednesday.
Electing to bat on a surface which promised to be full of runs, India lost opener Abhinav Mukund early, but Dhawan and Pujara kept the Lankan attack at bay with a monstrous 253-run stand second-wicket partnership.
Dhawan, who was included in the Test squad in place of regular opener Murali Vijay, reminded everyone of his debut knock as he wreaked havoc on the Lankan bowlers.
The left-handed batsman, during the course of 168 ball-knock, struck 31 stylish fours. The Delhi lad however fell short of his maiden double ton in Tests as he got out at the stroke of Tea on his individual score of 190. It was Dhawan’s fifth Test ton overall.
India then lost the wicket of skipper Virat Kohli and Sri Lanka thought of making inroads. However, Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane then put up a 113-run unbeaten partnership and helped India finish the day at 399-3.
At Stumps, both Pujara and Rahane were batting on 144* and 39* respectively.
For the hosts, Nuwan Pradeep was the lone wicket-taker as he scalped all three wickets. Injury woes continued for the hosts as middle-order batsman Asela Gunaratne was ruled out of the match with a fractured thumb, after he dropped a catch of Dhawan.
Pujara has once again been the difference for the number one ranked side as he ensured they did not lose sight of the job on hand.
This is the second highest total that India have posted in a single day of a Test in their history, while it was their highest total in away Tests. (ANI)