August 21, 2017

Why Ravichandran Ashwin is India's best all-round cricketer

05 August 2017, 08:19 | Christie Tate

3 matches in four months will take a huge toll on the playersMore

3 matches in four months will take a huge toll on the playersMore

In doing so, Pujara crossed the 4000-run mark in Test cricket, becoming the fourth-quickest Indian batsman to do so after Sunil Gavaskar (81 innings in 43 Tests), Virender Sehwag (81 innings in 49 Tests) and Rahul Dravid (84 innings in 48 Tests).

Karunaratne and Mendis had posted a 111-run stand when the umpires called for tea. India has won the first test already and looks like they are yet again on the verge of winning it again.

Ravinra Jadeja (70 not out) Wriddhiman Saha (67), Lokesh Rahul (57) and Ashwin (54) all contributed half-centuries. Hardik Pandya was caught in the deep by Angelo Mathews off spinner Malinda Pushpakumara.

With their position in the game clearly a dominant one, the pair of Pujara and Rahane will hope to bat at least an entire session out on the second day, and set the foundation for another 600-plus total.

Ashwin defended the team's decision to enforce a follow- on, saying, "Most often than not we have based it (follow-on decision) on how fresh or how exhausted the bowlers are". The pacer had injured his hamstring on day one and consequently the hosts have been left without a proper fast bowler in their attack for this game.

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The host Sri Lanka finished day 2 at 50-2 and both the wickets were taken by spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. "After the first innings we had a different approach and that paid off". Ashwin dismisses Perera (47.2 overs) 11:24 am: 11:24 am: Shami takes Dickwella and Herath (41 overs) 11: 07 am: What a ball from Jadeja! Pujara made his Test debut in October 2010, scoring 72 runs off 89 balls, helping India emerging victorious over Australia in Bangalore.

Subsequently, Cheteshwar Pujara, who is playing his 50th Test, produced a brilliant batting performance as he went on to score a blistering unbeaten knock of 128 runs, including 10 boundaries and a six. It was only the second time in 253 away Tests that India had six half centurions on their scorecard, an ample testimony to their supremacy over the Sri Lankan bowlers.

After being bowled out for a paltry 183 in the first innings losing as many as as eight wickets in a single session, No 3 Mendis (110 off 135 balls) and opener Karunaratne (92 batting, 200 balls) added 191 as the visitors could get only two wickets in the next two sessions.

A win in Colombo will seal the three-match series for India after their 304-run victory in the first Test in Galle.

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