Murali Vijay stroked to his 16th Test fifty (Image courtesy: IANS)
Murali Vijay stroked to his 16th Test fifty (Image courtesy: IANS)

Cheteshwar Pujara was seven short of becoming the highest run-getter in 2017 when he perished trying to flick. It s rare to see Pujara fall to a leg-slip and that too on Day One. It was good captaincy by Dinesh Chandimal to allow Pujara stroke early and get him in a momentum before foxing him with a loosener. However, loud cheers followed his dismissal as Virat Kohli made his way out to his den Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi. He got off the mark with a trademark flick to the ropes. Kohli and Murali Vijay saw India through to lunch at 116 for 2.

Kohli elected to bat. India made two changes: local boy Shikhar Dhawan replaced KL Rahul, while Umesh Yadav made way for Mohammed Shami. Kohli, now in all 32 Tests that he has led, has never fielded the same XI in consecutive games. And mind you, he has been incredibly successful.

Despite the grass on the Delhi track, it remained a batter s paradise. Vijay extended his good form and started the proceedings with two boundaries. Dhawan joined the act, and the Indian openers looked in an ominous touch.

Vijay made the conditions count by stroking his 16th Test fifty. It seemed like an extension of his strokeful century at Nagpur.

Dhawan, in a moment of madness, tried to sweep Dilruwan Perera out of the attack but only managed to find Suranga Lakmal at deep square-leg. Dhawan got a top edge as he tried to wallop the off-spiner from outside the off-stump. Lakmal slipped, lost his shoes but held on to the catch that handed Perera his 100th Test wicket. He became the fastest Sri Lanka to reach the milestone. Perera got to the mark in his 25th Test, while Muttiah Muralitharan had taken 27 matches.

India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd Test: Dilruwan Perera breaks Muttiah Muralitharan’s record
India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd Test: Dilruwan Perera breaks Muttiah Muralitharan’s record

Much like Vijay, Kohli too started from where he had left in Nagpur. He remained unbeaten on 17, stroking three elegant boundaries. India have scored at 4.29 in the first session, quite a contrast to what Sri Lanka did on Day One at Nagpur. They had scored under 2.

Brief scores

India 116 for 2 (Murali Vijay 51*; Lahiru Gamage 1 for 28) vs Sri Lanka.