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India v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Day 3- 5 Talking Points

India declared their innings on 610/6. Sri Lanka were on 21/1 at stumps.

Rohit Sharma India
Rohit Sharma plays a shot. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Every Indian batsman who managed to get into double figures took his scores to a milestone number. Skipper Virat Kohli scored his fifth double hundred, Rohit Sharma brought up a ton and Cheteshwar Pujara was close to go past the 150-mark on Day 3 of the 2nd Test match between India and Sri Lanka. India declared on 610/6 leaving the visitors a mountain to climb.

Opener Murali Vijay was dismissed yesterday for 128 while Pujara departed today for 143. Kohli fetched 17 boundaries and two sixes in his knock of 213 and Rohit Sharma remained unbeaten on 102*. For the tourists, Dilruwan Perera scalped three wickets.

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Virat Kohli’s record as Test captain

Only 29-year-old and Virat Kohli has brought up his 51st international hundred and in the process, he went past legendary former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar to achieve the feat of most hundreds by an Indian Test captain. Kohli, who equalled Gavaskar’s 11 tons in Kolkata, did one better this time in Nagpur. He was unbeaten after scoring a fifty yesterday and didn’t let the Lankans make inroads.

The Indian skipper might be rested for the third and final Test of the series and his current form will give a lot of hope to the Indian fans as the team prepares to take on South Africa in the rainbow nation.

Cheteshwar Pujara rock solid at the top

The Indian top-order batsman’s appetite for daddy hundreds is not a new thing. He has notched up three triple hundreds in India’s domestic circuit and has scored a bagful of runs against strong bowling attacks. Pujara faced 362 balls for his 143 and never looked tired.

He came into bat after opener KL Rahul lost his stick in the 2nd Day’s play yesterday. And he made sure the hosts won’t need a nightwatchman when they have a pure batsman, who can bat through the overs at the fag end and start fresh.

Rohit Sharma joins the run-feast

Rohit wore the expression of someone who wanted to go out in the field after watching Vijay and Pujara forged a fruitful stand and then Pujara and Kohli making a mockery of the Sri Lankan attack. He finally got an opportunity and he grabbed it with both hands.

Preparing for the African series, Rohit looked at ease and this unbeaten hundred will give him a lot of confidence going into the challenging tour. The right-hand stylish batsman rubbed salt to Lankan’s wound and joined the feast with some lusty strokes.

Sri Lanka facing the wall

The visitors ended the day on 21/1 after losing the wicket of opener Sadeera Samarawickrama, who was bowled by Ishant Sharma. It didn’t take India too long to find a wicket as he perished in just the second ball, leaving his team wanting.

Sri Lanka will now have to score 385 runs in order to make India bat again, which looks unlikely unless they show a lot of character. A draw is out of the equation as we still have two days of cricket left and the only way out here is to build partnerships and make a memorable comeback.

Ajinkya Rahane’s punctured ride at home

Known as a reliable batsman, Ajinkya Rahane has stepped in almost everytime India found themselves in trouble. But the vice-captain of the Indian side hasn’t been able to score the 50s and the 100s, unlike his teammates. Rahane has a better away record than at home, which isn’t a poor thing but the difference reads 16.55. (Away-53.44, home-36.89).

Till October last year, Rahane was able to hold on to the good numbers- averaging 51.75 with 621 runs from 8 Tests and 1588 runs from 21 away Tests at 51.22). But his record took a massive fall thereafter. In his last 16 innings, Rahane’s average is close to 25. Though not many are worried about dip, knowing his class, a hundred or two in final Test will keep him in a happy space.

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