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In just 104 innings, Virat Kohli already has 5 Test match double hundreds. All of them have come in the past year and a half, after he'd taken over the mantle of being captain. It shows his greatness, someone who is currently at the peak of his powers. His strike rate read almost 80 when he was dismissed for 213 (267). At no point during that knock did he look perturbed or edgy. He batted fluently right from ball 1 and even his dismissal was when he tried to slog one out of the park for his team's cause.
The visitors displayed vibrancy early on at Eden Gardens but all that was missing here. Their batting, as a group, has been a major let down. Sri Lanka were bundled out for a paltry 205 on Day 1 on a wicket which was touted to help the pacers. Though Ishant returned with 3 wickets, it was Ravi Ashwin and Jadeja who dominated proceedings with their tweaks as early as on the first day. India lost KL Rahul cheaply late on Day 1 which would have utterly disappointed him. It was a case of opportunity lost to score big. This, especially after what was going to happen in the following days.
Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara stitched together a steady partnership as Day 2 began. Vijay, nicknamed the 'Monk', was patient and always looked composed. He took on the aggressor's role once India had taken the lead and played superbly to score 128 in his comeback game. Pujara stood tall like a rock and had partnerships with both Vijay and Virat Kohli as he went on to score 143 before unusually yorking himself out. Rahane missed out but Rohit Sharma grabbed his opportunity with both hands as he struck a beautiful partnership with Virat as he went on to get his Third Test ton. After being on the fringes for a long time, he came back to Test cricket after 500 days and the innings surely pushed his name up the pecking order.
India tired and frustrated the Lankan bowlers throughout Day 3 and once Rohit got to his hundred, Virat called the unbeaten pair of Rohit and Saha back. India had a commanding lead of 405 runs which would always prove to be daunting for the visitors.
Ishant, another one making a comeback into the Team was impressive in both innings.
The ball was bound to spin on Day 4 and Sri Lanka were always going to face an uphill task against the Indian spinners.
On Day 4, Ishant started off with a few snorters as Thirimanne fell cheaply. He got one to swing away from Dickwella who knicked it to Virat Kohli in the slips, who juggled it and took it with one hand on the second attempt. From then on, it was the Ashwin and Jadeja show. Jadeja cleaned up the top order to leave Sri Lanka on the brink. Ashwin dismissed Shanaka, Perera and Herath to leave the Lankans at 107-8. But for a few shots played by captain Dinesh Chandimal and Eden Gardens inspiration Lakmal, the game was destined to finish within the first session itself on Day 4. Ultimately though, Umesh picked up Chandimal on his home ground and Ashwin cleaned up Gamage just after lunch to put the scoreline 1-0 in India's favour.
In doing so, he also became the quickest to reach 300 wickets in Test matches, in just 54 games beating the likes of Muralitharan, Steyn and Lillee. From an Indian standpoint, it was a proud moment indeed! Stay tuned for the 3rd Test match at Delhi where India would look to seal the series.