India 312-2 at close, lead Sri Lanka by 107 runs

Sunday, 26 Nov, 2017

However, unlike the Sri Lankan batsmen, Vijay and Pujara didn't let that hurry them.

After the fall of Vijay, skipper Virat Kohli (54 not out) was ruthless from the onset as he and Pujara forged an unbeaten 96-run third-wicket stand when umpires called it a day.

Dinesh Chandimal put a lot of faith on Lahiru Gamage and gave him many overs. Pujara completed his century when he played medium pacer Dasun Shanaka past gully for a double in the second ball of the 87th over. He was on 61 at the time, and the next real chance he would afford Sri Lanka would be after reaching three figures. Vijay drove again, gifting a chance to Perera, but was reprieved when he fumbled. Earlier, they missed a catch and run-out opportunity. He soon brought up his half-century with a wristy push through mid-on. The partnership looked indomitable.

The script hardly saw a shift after the Lunch break, except that Sri Lanka offered Vijay another reprieve and the Indian duo improved the scoring rate.

India's Cheteshwar Pujara left and Murali Vijay run between the wickets during the second day of their second test cricket match against Sri Lanka in Nagpur India Saturday Nov. 25 2017
India 312-2 at close, lead Sri Lanka by 107 runs

Vijay soon reached his century. Well, it looks like India need to implement a similar ploy while picking the Test openers, as they now seem to have three strong contenders - KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan and Murli Vijay - for those two spots and after Vijay's ton in his comeback Test innings in Nagpur, this is going to be the latest talking point in Indian cricket. Yet, when India squared up against Sri Lanka on a green Eden Gardens pitch under overcast conditions, Vijay was left out. However, it was more of Vijay's poor shot selection than any bowling brilliance from Sri Lanka.

For Sri Lanka, spinner Rangana Herath (1/45) was the only successful wicket-taker of the day at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium. Vijay attempted sweep but couldn't control it as much as he'd have liked, the top-edge falling to the short fine-leg. Murali Vijay scored 128.

The two initially took their time, getting their eye in. Sri Lanka's fielding remained poor as well and Kohli made full use of that, running for four runs in an over-throw. Pujara meanwhile began to lay the groundwork for another typically-solid innings that would tire out the opposition and please the true Test match connoisseurs. Pujara thus equated his skipper, scoring his seventh century since 2016 - second-most after Steven Smith. Vijay has hit nine boundaries and a six off 193 deliveries. The second-wicket stand was worth 209 and went a long way in helping India pull ahead. The team nearly has different bowling attacks for the red ball and white ball cricket.