Rahul now has 9 fifties in his last 11 Test innings, but not even a single hundred.
His last hundred came against England in Chennai, which was a big one but he was dismissed for 199, missing on the double ton by just one run.
He will no doubt be disappointed as he looked set for a big one against Sri Lanka, but was clean bowled by Lakmal on 79.
Earlier, Rahul started with a bang. Coming in to bat on the verge of a king pair, the pressure was on him, especially with pundits questioning the team management’s decision to play him over Vijay on a greenish track. But Rahul hit three beautiful boundaries of Lahiru Gamage’s first over — second of the innings — to set the tone for the rest of the day.
However, as the day approached its conclusion, Rahul went into a shell, even playing and missing a lot of balls.
Both Dhawan and Rahul were in a punishing mood. Interestingly, they added caution with aggression beautifully as they paid due respect to the good balls. But sadly for the Lankans, there were far and few of them as the Indians cut, drove and flicked with elan. By the time Lakmal got the ball in his hand, last over before the tea break, the duo of Dhawan and Rahul were already spotting the cricket ball like a football.
First Published: November 20, 2017, 10:17 AM IST