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

Murali Vijay. | PTI

With Shikhar Dhawan out of the second Test against Sri Lanka for personal reasons and KL Rahul not making a mark, Murali Vijay made things harder for the selectors by cracking a confident 10th Test century on the second day in Nagpur.

Vijay hit 128 and Pujara was unbeaten on 121 as India went to stumps in a powerful position of 312/2, a lead already worth 107 after Sri Lanka were bowled out for just 205 on the first day.

In fact, till the start of the three-Test series in Sri Lanka in August this year, the Chennai boy was India's first-choice opener, despite not having a hugely impressive number in last home season, in which in 12 Tests, he had 771 runs with three hundreds and three fifties, an average of 36.71. Kohli watched Pujara get to his 14th Test century - off 246 balls - and drove and punched his way to a half-century of his own by the close of play.

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When Rangana Herath (0/26 in 15 overs) flighted one inviting Pujara to come out, he promptly did so by flicking it to the vacant mid-wicket boundary.

When he regained fitness, India continued to stick with the opening pair of Rahul and Dhawan for the first Test in Kolkata.

Vijay had his share of luck on his individual score of 45 in the first session of play when he miscued a Dilruwan Perera delivery to mid-off which skipper Dinesh Chandimal, running back failed to grab. Overnight batsmen Vijay, on 56, and Cheteshwar Pujara, on 33, were at the crease in Nagpur. By the time he took the second new ball, Lakmal had lost all sting and discipline.

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"I like batting, so it does not matter who bats at the other end!" The review was struck down with replays showing a clear edge. No attacking move came from Sri Lanka and rather they tried to stop runs, which provided the Indian batsmen with even more confidence. Kohli brought up his half-century in the penultimate over of the day, before, finally, time was called and the Sri Lankans were put out of their misery, for the time being at least.

Vijay consumed 129 deliveries for his knock, laced with six hits to the fence.

Kohli kept on scoring quickly while Pujara got to his 16th Test century. With the help of their mammoth partnership, the duo surpassed the likes of Virat Kohli & Ajinkya Rahane and Sachin Tendulkar & Sourav Gaungly to set a new record for India.

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