India’s bowlers picked up four Sri Lankan wickets after all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja’s unbeaten 175 helped the hosts post a massive first innings total on the second day of the opening test at Mohali on Saturday.
The left-handed Jadeja combined in two century stands with Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Shami on Saturday to put the touring side on the mat as India declared their first innings closed on 574 for eight at the tea interval.
Jadeja added 130 for the seventh wicket with Ashwin, who made 61, and a further 103 for the unbroken ninth with Shami to effectively bat Sri Lanka out of the contest. Shami remained unbeaten on 20.
“Today I just stayed calm and batted normally,” Jadeja, who scored his only other test hundred against West Indies at home in 2018, told reporters.
Jadeja’s impact with the ball was also immediate.
The left-arm spinner dismissed Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne leg before wicket for 28 after spin partner Ashwin had given the hosts the first breakthrough by sending back Lahiru Thirimanne in similar fashion.
There were more lbw dismissals for Sri Lanka with former captain Angelo Mathews out to fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah and Ashwin picking up his second by dismissing Dhananjaya de Silva.
Sri Lanka ended the day on 108 for four with Pathum Nissanka and Charith Asalanka at the crease, but the tourists face a daunting task to avoid defeat on a track offering turn for the spinners.
Nissanka’s stumps were earlier knocked back by Bumrah but the batter survived as the third umpire ruled that the bowler had overstepped the crease during his delivery.
Asalanka also managed to overturn an lbw decision against him on review. Replays showed Jadeja’s delivery would have missed the stumps.
“The wicket might turn more as the game progresses and the odd ball is also keeping low,” Jadeja said. “We will try to bowl within the stumps on Sunday.”
Before the start of play a minute’s silence was observed for Australian greats Rod Marsh and Shane Warne, who both died on Friday. The Indian players also wore black armbands.
India, who have won 14 straight home series, kept piling on runs on a docile pitch after resuming the day on 357-6.
The touring bowlers failed to trouble Jadeja and Ashwin and their attack was further hampered by the absence of fast bowler Lahiru Kumara who did not return after leaving play on Friday with an injury.
Ashwin’s wicket – the only success for Sri Lanka in the first session – came when the right-hander edged behind Suranga Lakmal while attempting a hook shot.
After reaching three figures, Jadeja brought out his trademark celebration, twirling his bat like a sword. The only sign of discomfort in his innings, which was studded with 17 fours and three sixes, came when he received some treatment on his right wrist.