Virat Kohli called it right at the toss and chose to bat first on a dead and placid track without much hesitation. KL Rahul was back in the playing XI in place of Abhinav Mukund and he came out to bat with first Test centurion Shikhar Dhawan.
Dhawan's habit of poking at deliveries outside the off stump with his bat face open led to two half chances in the first two overs bowled by Nuwan Pradeep and Rangana Herath respectively. But the ball dropped just short of the slip fielder on both occasions. Dhawan and Rahul got going quickly by getting a flurry of boundaries under their belt.
The first real chance of the game came off the bowling of Dimuth Karunaratne as he struck KL Rahul on the pads in front of the wicket. The umpire gave it out but the Indian opener went for the DRS given that the ball had hit him above the knee roll of his pads. The replays showed that the ball would have missed the stumps and Rahul survived.
Sri Lanka didn't have to wait for their first wicket for very long as it came in the next over itself. This time Shikhar Dhawan was hit on the pads as he attempted a sweep shot off Dilruwan Perera but the umpire ruled in favour of the batsman. Sri Lanka went for the DRS and Dhawan was adjudged out LBW for 35.
That brought Cheteshwar Pujara to the middle and he along with KL Rahul took India to lunch at 101/1. KL Rahul brought up his half century immediately after lunch, his sixth straight in Test matches. The opener though was run out for 57 after a horrendous mix-up with Pujara, India were now two wickets down for 109.
Indian captain Virat Kohli came out to bat and immediately got going with a couple of impressive boundaries. But Kohli's desire to get quick runs got the better of him as he was caught at slip for 13. Angelo Mathews taking a sharp reflex catch off the bowling of Rangana Herath. India were now 133/3 and Sri Lanka sensed they had a chance to put the visitors under pressure.
But those plans were thwarted by Cheteshwar Pujara in the company of the impressive Ajinkya Rahane as the duo stitched together a strong partnership to take India into tea at 238/3. Rahane took the attack to the opposition by hitting a few aggressive shots and that led the Lankans to spread the field and the duo took full advantage of that.
Both the batsmen helped themselves to half-centuries and then followed that up by reaching the three-figure mark. While Cheteshwar Pujara slammed his 13th Test century, Rahane scored his ninth Test ton as India went into cruise control.
The hosts though had a chance to remove Rahane before he slammed a ton but debutant Malinda Pushpakumara failed to take a return catch off his own bowling when the batsman was on 80.
Sri Lanka's problems were compounded as their only seam bowler Nuwan Pradeep hobbled off the ground late on day 1 after pulling his left ham string.
Ajinkya RahaneCheteshwar PujaraIndia vs Sri lankaIndia vs Sri Lanka 2017kl rahulshikhar dhawansri lanka vs indiaSri Lanka vs India 2017virat kohli
First Published: August 3, 2017, 5:18 PM IST