Sri Lanka v India, 1st Test, Day 1- 5 Talking Points

Shikhar Dhawan dominated the day till the time he was out in the middle.

Virat Kohli
Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli leaves the pitch after being dismissed.
(Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

A certain “Dhawan storm” hit the shores of Galle and jagged the hosts into a catch-22 situation. He literally batted Sri Lanka out of this Test match and put India in a commanding position in the first two sessions of the game. Cheteshwar Pujara (144* off 247 balls) brought up his 12th Test match hundred and is racing towards his fourth double ton, with the ever reliable Ajinkya Rahane (39 off 94 balls) at the other end.

The duo added an 113-run stand after Shikhar and Virat Kohli were dismissed in quick succession. Sri Lankan bowlers, including their skipper Rangana Herath, had no answer as India piled up a staggering 399 runs on the day for the loss of just three wickets. It was an action packed day of Test match cricket and here are five talking points, which might eventually decide the outcome, probably in India’s favour.


1. The drop catch that changed the match

Hands down, the biggest moment of the day came in the 14th over of the game when Dhawan was dropped in the slips by Asela Gunaratne. Lahiru Kumara’s full-length delivery to the 31-year-old picked the outside edge and Gunaratne grassed the opportunity. To rub salt on the would, Gunaratne’s thumb got fractured in this process and he has been ruled out of the first rest. Sri Lanka will now have to bat with 10 players in both the innings.

2. Dhawan going nuts in the second session

India did manage to score a lot runs in the first session, but the way Dhawan went after the hosts in the second session almost settled the five-day game. Sri Lankan players were distraught and could do nothing but witness the carnage. India amasses a jaw dropping 167 runs in 28 overs, scoring at almost 6 an over.

3. Two big wickets in a short span

The only phase when Sri Lankan fans had something to cheer about was just before and after Tea break. Dhawan gave a catch on 190 an over before the interval and skipper Kohli added just 3 runs to the board from 8 balls. With two crucial wickets in a very short span, it appeared that Sri Lanka might pull things back in their favour. It wasn’t the case though as the Lankan bowlers were way too inconsistent with their line and length to create any sort of pressure.

4. The Rahane-Pujara partnership

Cheteshwar Pujara remained a mere spectator whilst the Islanders were facing the Dhawan music, but his stand with Ajinkya Rahane helped India finish well on the first day. Pujara was at his fluent best and Rahane stuck to his basics without being too audacious. Though they scored 117 runs in the final session, the game seemed a little dull to the spectators after Dhawan’s dismissal. Nevertheless, the duo added 113 runs together and India looks well on course for a massive total.



5. Ineffective Herath

Sometimes, teams are heavily reliant on a single player to win games, but that backfires quite badly when that superstar player is targeted and hammered. Something similar happened in Herath’s case today as the 39-year-old entered the game with high expectations and failed to provide anything magical. He gave away 92 runs in 24 overs at an economy of 3.83, which is way too high for his standards.