Cheteshwar Pujara continues dream run with century vs Sri Lanka in Colombo Test | india-vs-sri-lanka-2017 | Hindustan Times
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Cheteshwar Pujara continues dream run with century vs Sri Lanka in Colombo Test

In the process of completing his 13th Test century, India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara also reached the 4000-run mark in the 2nd Test against Sri Lanka at Colombo

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Aug 03, 2017 15:54 IST
India’s Cheteshwar Pujara plays a shot during the first day of the second Test match against Sri Lanka and India at the Sinhalease Sports Club (SSC) Ground in Colombo on Thursday.
India’s Cheteshwar Pujara plays a shot during the first day of the second Test match against Sri Lanka and India at the Sinhalease Sports Club (SSC) Ground in Colombo on Thursday.(AFP)

Continuing his dream run, India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara marked the 50th Test of his career with a century, the 13th of his career and second successive of the series, at Sinhalese Sports Club ground on Thursday, giving India the upper hand on the opening day of the second Test against Sri Lanka. (IND v SL UPDATES)

Coming back to the venue where he had started his turnaround in 2015 with a fighting, unbeaten 145, Pujara put up a show of classical strokeplay to reach 100 off 164 balls (nine fours, one six), and in the process also complete 4000 Test runs. (IND v SL SCORECARD)

The SSC 2015 to SSC 2017 cycle has seen a glorious run for Pujara and he has notched seven hundreds in this phase. He emerged as India’s key batsman during the hard-fought home series against Australia, with a match-winning 92 in the second Test at Bangalore followed by a match-saving double hundred at Ranchi and a vital 57 in the series-decider at Dharamsala.

After making a sedate start, Pujara gradually picked up momentum. Barring a few scratchy shots at the start, it was a faultless innings during which he was decisive in his footwork and judged the length superbly. His use of feet against spinners was a treat to watch, forcing them to shorten their lengths or push the ball wide.

For his two left-arm spinners, Rangana Herath and Malinda Pushpakumara, Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal kept the third man region open while packing the on side. Pujara made a mockery of the tactics by punching holes through Sri Lanka’s defences on the leg side, time and again stepping out to on drive while leaning back to cut whenever the left-armers pitched short.