Stats: Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara enter elite list
Nov 26 2017
At the break, Vijay was unbeaten on 56 runs while Cheteshwar Pujara was 33 not out, with the hosts trailing Sri Lanka on the first innings by 108 runs.
India scored 301 runs on Day Two and lost just one wicket, thus dominating Sri Lanka in the second Test at Nagpur. Herath posed some threat and kept the scoring down, as did Gamage but the lack of sustained pressure and the lack of effectiveness of the other bowlers let India run away with a lead in excess of 100.
Vijay (106 not out) brought up his 10th Test ton, while Pujara (71 not out) scored his 18th half-century in the longest format of the game to help India trail by 20 runs when umpires called it an end to the second session. The sun was beating down heavily, the pitch had morphed into a flat track, with very little assistance for the bowlers.
Dhawan and Rahul failed in the first innings but scored 94 and 79 in the second innings of a game India nearly won.
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.
Sri Lanka could only test Vijay and Pujara for an hour and half with well placed line and length of deliveries and also found good spin combination from Rangana Herath who beat the outside of the edge on multiple occasions. "I like batting so it does not matter who bats at the other end", he offered. As it turned out, a direct hit was needed, and Sadeera Samarawickrama missed from short leg.
Vijay went ahead and drove on the up off the next ball too, but Dilruwan Perera couldn't latch onto it. Pujara ducked and inadvertantly cleared the field for Perera but the latter was perhaps mindful of the Indian batsman in the way and got distracted while diving in.
Resuming the final session at 185 for 1, India looked good for more, but ten overs into the session came Sri Lanka's breakthrough. Pujara and Vijay put up a 90-run partnership in the first session. He even stole a bye with the ball in the wicketkeeper's hand.
In India's last overseas touring cycle, after Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, Vijay looked the most compact batsman. South Africa's Dean Elgar and Sri Lanka's Dimuth Karunaratne were the first two to breach the 1000-run mark.