Virat Kohli, Murali Vijay run riot over crumbling Sri Lanka in Delhi Test | india vs sri lanka 2017 | Hindustan Times
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Virat Kohli, Murali Vijay run riot over crumbling Sri Lanka in Delhi Test

Virat Kohli and Murali Vijay scored centuries to take India towards a big total against Sri Lanka on Day 1 of the third Test in Delhi

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Dec 02, 2017 17:10 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
Virat Kohli (R) and Murali Vijay run between the wickets during the first day of the third Test between India and Sri Lanka at the Feroz Shah Kotla Cricket Stadium in New Delhi.
Virat Kohli (R) and Murali Vijay run between the wickets during the first day of the third Test between India and Sri Lanka at the Feroz Shah Kotla Cricket Stadium in New Delhi.(AFP)

India skipper Virat Kohli (156 no) and opener Murali Vijay (155) struck grand centuries to turn the first day of the final Test against Sri Lanka into a lopsided affair. (IND v SL Day 1 highlights)

Both teams seemed to have given up even before the third Test was into a few overs at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground on Saturday. Sri Lanka, left ragged after India’s innings and 239-run victory in the second Test, didn’t put up a semblance of a fight even at the start. (IND v SL Day 1 scorecard)

India were resigned to play on a pitch that showed no life to challenge their batsmen to prepare for the tough South Africa tour, starting on January 5. And that simply meant they had to focus on the present – tame conditions and a weak opposition. (IND v SL live streaming)

The result was India batsmen hammering the Sri Lankan attack to finish the day on 371 for four. Kohli and Vijay put on 283 runs for the third wicket.

Chinaman bowler Lakshan Sandakan raised the spirit of the side by having Vijay and the struggling Ajinkya Rahane (1) stumped in the space of four deliveries.

Captain hot

Virat Kohli has been pretty much an unstoppable force and Sri Lanka have borne the brunt this year.

The 29-year-old batsman smashed his 20th Test century – third in a row in this series -- after becoming the 11th Indian to complete 5,000 runs, delighting a large home crowd chanting his name. The pitch offered little to the bowlers but Sri Lanka bowled many loose deliveries to make things easier for the hosts.

A 110-ball century, at a strike rate of over 90, saw boundaries flow off the bat without Kohli having to strain, his supreme fitness shining through after a 213 in Nagpur.

Kohli took just 186 deliveries to reach 156, leaving him with a good chance to get to a maiden triple century.

Kohli is the second fastest Indian to 20 centuries (105 innings). Only Sunil Gavaskar (93) is ahead while Sachin Tendulkar took 107 innings. Overall, Don Bradman (55), Gavaskar, Matthew Hayden (95) and Steve Smith (99) got to the mark faster.

Vijay completed back-to-back centuries in his quiet fashion, showing exuberance only on reaching 100, a little twist towards the dressing room. The other was a reverse-sweep.

Back with a bang

Vijay is on a comeback after seven months. The 33-year-old showed fine touch to score 128 in Nagpur. The team management seemed to have restored him to No 1 as opener, dropping KL Rahul to include Shikhar Dhawan.

He never lost focus despite Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara offering catches on 23 playing loose shots. Dhawan was off-spinner Dilruwan Perera’s 100th scalp.

Vijay and Kohli put on India’s third big stand of the series, the opener first playing second fiddle before the skipper taking the backseat to let the senior batsman get to his century.

The characteristics of the Kotla pitch though means India will have to make do with a crash course in tweaking technique before the first Test starts in Cape Town on January 5.