Murali Vijay scores 10th Test ton, puts India on top against Sri Lanka in Nagpur
Murali Vijay marked his return to the India side with a brilliant century as India marched steadily towards Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 205 on the second day of the 2nd test in Nagpur on Saturday.Updated: Nov 25, 2017 14:12 IST
Murali Vijay completed a superb hundred, the 10th of his career, to put India in the driver’s seat in the second Test against Sri Lanka being played at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur on Saturday. (LIVE BLOG)
The feature of his beautifully crafted innings was the driving on the off-side as he caressed the Sri Lankan pacers to the boundary ropes whenever they pitched in his scoring zone. His innings was studded with nine fours and one six. The only six came against left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, stepping out and lofting him over long-off. He reached the landmark with a single off the 187th ball he faced. (LIVE SCORECARD)
Thanks to this brilliant innings, Murali Vijay now has the third highest number of Test centuries for any Indian opener - after Sunil Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag.
Sri Lanka had two chances against Vijay but failed to take them. First, on 19 runs, Sadeera Samarawickrama couldn’t latch on to a sharp catch at short-leg off left-arm spinner Rangana Herath’s bowling, he missed the run-out attempt too. Later, at 61, Dilruwan Perera positioned at the short mid-on position for the uppish drive, dropped Vijay off pacer Lahiru Gamage.
Coming into the game, the India opener was under some pressure because he had been overlooked in favour of Shikhar Dhawan for the first Test. However, playing at the stadium where he had made his debut in 2008, against Australia, Vijay proved he can switch it on whenever he is fit to play.
Considering all conditions, Vijay has been India’s most consistent opener for the last couple of seasons. He has proved himself in the challenging conditions of South Africa, England and Australia, getting runs in each of these places when India last played there.
Vijay has been plagued by injuries though and had been out after the home series against Australia, in March. With his return to form, it will be a welcome headache for the India captain. Virat Kohli now has to choose whom to drop once Shikhar Dhawan returns for the third Test match.
However, when it comes to the tour of South Africa, Vijay will be the frontrunner to face the new ball because of his experience of playing in those conditions.