Pujara and Vijay pummel Sri Lanka

Lawrence Cooper
November 26, 2017

Shortly after India took the lead in the final session, Sri Lanka's best bowler on the day - Herath - finally found a way to breach the second-wicket stand. Vijay's attempted sweep shot against a low full toss resulted in a top-edge that was easily pouched by Perera at short fine leg. Once the foremost choice for opening the Test inning for India, he was not drafted into the playing squad in the first Test against Sri Lanka in the ongoing series.

After the fall of Vijay, skipper Virat Kohli (54 not out) was ruthless from the onset as he and Pujara forged an unbeaten 96-run third-wicket stand when umpires called it a day.

The Tamil Nadu lad went on to draw a parallel between himself and teammate Cheteshwar Pujara, with whom he stitched a fabulous partnership on the second day of the Nagpur Test. Murali Vijay began Day 2 with a pristine cover drive and spent rest of the day establishing his grace and class on the proceedings. The sun was beating down heavily, the pitch had morphed into a flat track, with very little assistance for the bowlers.

At the other end, Rahul has also maintained a steady show, scoring nine half-hundreds in his 12 innings and it forced the team management to go ahead with the Rahul-Dhawan pair in the Kolkata Test against Sri Lanka, despite Vijay being fully-fit and available for selection.

However, in Nagpur, Vijay has done exactly what Dhawan did in Sri Lanka - making the most of the opportunity.

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The hosts crossed the 100-run mark in the innings shortly after the break and at this point, Vijay and Pujara were in full control of the innings. Pujara completed his century when he played medium pacer Dasun Shanaka past gully for a double in the second ball of the 87th over. No attacking move came from Sri Lanka and rather they tried to stop runs, which provided the Indian batsmen with even more confidence. "First session of a Test match, you try to set a base and try to bat for a long time".

The introduction of Shanaka brought two cover-driven boundaries for Vijay.

Kohli hit a 66-ball half-century and has smashed six boundaries so far.

Pujara watched every ball closely and played a patient knock to bring up his 14th Test ton, while Vijay marked his return in the Test cricket with his 10th century.

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