India vs Sri Lanka: Struggling hosts need Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane to steady ship on Day 2

With Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane out at the centre right now, India need the two Test specialists to grind it out on the second day and bring the situation back to normalcy for the hosts.

FirstCricket Staff, Nov 16, 2017 20:35:33 IST

The first Test between India and Sri Lanka, taking place at the hallowed Eden Gardens in Kolkata, saw one team dominating the other on a rain-curtailed opening day.

However, unlike the narrative in recent months, it was Sri Lanka's turn to dominate as they grabbed three early Indian wickets after putting the hosts in to bat.

The same side that was blanked 0-9 across formats by Virat Kohli and company barely three months ago were suddenly showing signs of the old Sri Lankan team that rose to the top of world cricket in the 1990s and 2000s.

India vs Sri Lanka: Struggling hosts need Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane to steady ship on Day 2

Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara were unbeaten at the end of Day 1. AP

The day got off to a delayed start as the wet outfield resulted in the morning session getting wiped out. Once the weather gods finally decided to relent, it was an excellent toss to win for captain Dinesh Chandimal, who named seam-bowling all-rounder Dasun Shanaka in the visitors' XI, as the Sri Lankan pacers got the first crack at a greenish surface with overcast conditions.

It was a dream start as Suranga Lakmal, removed KL Rahul off the very first delivery of the match. The dismissal, a faint nick off the batsman's outside edge to the wicket-keeper, ended Rahul's streak of seven successive half-centuries that got him a berth in the openers' slot at the expense of Murali Vijay in the first place.

Even though the skies continued to play hide-and-seek throughout the day, with bad light stopping play intermittently as well, it did not prevent Lakmal from continuing his destruction of the Indian top-order, as he got rid of both Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli later in the day, with India reeling at 17 for 3 after 11.5 overs before bad light forced the officials to call off play early.

With Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane out in the middle right now, India need the two Test specialists to grind it out on the second day and bring the situation back to normalcy for the hosts. The two batsmen have been part of perilous situations in the past, and have the technique and temperament to not just tackle any incoming threats, but to forge a solid partnership that could actually put India in a position of power. What fans can expect from Day 2 however, is a contest that promises to be every bit as exciting as it can get. Hopefully, the rains stay away!

Updated Date: Nov 16, 2017 20:35:33 IST






Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 4756 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
6 New Zealand 4056 254