The second Test between India and Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) in Colombo is well underway, and the first day of the Test hardly turned out to be any different from what we have witnessed so far in the series.
India finished the day with a commanding score of 344 for the loss of three wickets, with Cheteshwar Pujara (128 not out) and Ajinkya Rahane (103 not out) leading the way for the visitors, stitching an unbroken 211-run stand for the fourth wicket at stumps. Opening batsman KL Rahul, who returned to the team at the expense of Abhinav Mukund, contributed with a valuable 57 off 82 balls.
With their position in the game clearly a dominant one, the pair of Pujara and Rahane will hope to bat at least an entire session out on the second day, and set the foundation for another 600-plus total. Judging by the batting order's performance in the previous Test, there's enough firepower to propel the side past that score on a surface that should assist batsmen for the next two days.
Posting a massive total on the second day will then put the visitors in a position from where it would be their game to lose. This, however, will only make the task easy for India to secure the series from that point onwards. By posting a total that big then automatically exerts scoreboard pressure on a depleted Sri Lankan batting order.
The Sri Lankan batting order succumbed to pressure in the previous match, with the likes of Dimuth Karunaratne and Dilruwan Perera putting up lone fights. Even though the SSC certainly seems to be a better batting pitch, and the return of Dinesh Chandimal as a captain, as well as a pillar of the batting order (remember Galle 2015), the Indians will be at an advantage going into the second day.