Welcome to Sportstar 's LIVE coverage of Day 1 of the first Test between India and Sri Lanka in Mohali.
India finish on 357/6. Rishabh Pant lit up Mohali with his power-hitting. Was unlucky to miss out on a hundred. He fell for 96. Meanwhile, Jadeja is batting on 45. He has Ashwin for company. Earlier, Kohli looked set for a big one before being clean bowled for 45. Hanuma Vihari, batting at 3, hit a well-crafted 58. There were usual contributions from Shreyas Iyer as well but the day belonged to Pant. India already have a sizeable total. How many more can they add? We will find out on Day 2.
GONE! Would you believe it? Pant has been dismissed in the nineties, again! He is distraught. He falls for a 97-ball 96. Length ball, on off-stump, scrambled seam and Pant, casual in defence, was beaten through the gate. What an innings. Ashwin has joined Jadeja.
IND 315/5 in 78 overs: The fifty's up for Pant. Meanwhile, Jadeja has also started to come into his own, clearing mid-wicket with an audacious pull.
Pant is having no more of it. He shimmies down the ground to welcome Embuldeniya by depositing him for two back-to-back sixes over mid-wicket. Follows it up with a boundary in front of square. 22 runs come off the 76th over as Pant scythes through the off-side off the last ball. That'll be 300 for India.
The bottom hand comes off the handle and there you have it... the famous one-handed heave from Pant. 4, 6. Carnage. Only Ben Stokes has hit one more six (34) than Pant since the latter's debut.
IND 270/5 in 73 overs: Jadeja and Pant have quietly added 38, and that's a concern for Sri Lanka. Remember, Lahiru Kumara has a hamstring niggle and will not take the field today. So, the visitors are a bowler short. Pant is nearing yet another well-crafted fifty.
IND 252/5 in 68 overs: Pant gets a boundary, courtesy of a premediated scoop off Asalanka's bowling. News coming in from the Sri Lanka dugout: Lahiru may not take the field today, having picked up a niggle. Asalanka, in his next over, seems to be looking to cramp Pant inside the depth of his crease, as he continues to bowl full. So close! Thirimanne seems to have grassed what would have been a blinder at first slip. Jadeja survives. Dhananjaya's poor follow-up delivery, a half-tracker, has been pulled away by Jadeja in disdain.
IND 234/5 in 63 overs: As is standard, four fielders have been placed on the off-side for Pant as Lahiru comes back into the attack. Iyer, however, is looking to accelerate on the lightning-fast outfield, wristing a fuller delivery through the on-side for four. The fifty-run partnership has now come up off 82 balls. Uh oh, looks like Lahiru may have to leave the field. Kusal Mendis is the substitute fielder and Asalanka will bowl the remaining delivery. Dhananjaya gets the ball to angle in from round the wicket to trap Iyer plumb in front. India loses a review.
IND 216/4 in 58 overs: Pant decides to not take any undue risks against Embuldeniya's left-arm spin. Meanwhile, the 200 comes up for the host in 54.3 overs. Over and out... Pant steps out to dispatch Lakmal towards deep extra cover for four runs. Iyer picks up a boundary as well two overs later lifting one above the head of the fielder stationed at short extra cover.
TEA: India finish on 199/4. Rewarding session for Sri Lanka as they removed Kohli and Vihari both. Iyer and Pant are at the crease. India still going at 3.75 an hour.
IND 195/4 in 52 overs: Left-arm spinner Embuldeniya vs Rishabh Pant: Skips down the track and lofts it over long-on for a huge six. Embuldeniya is in the middle of a probing spell. A leg slip, short leg and slip for Pant, who is trying to stay proactive. Lakmal replaces Vishwa Fernando.
IND 175/4 in 47 overs: GONE! One brings two. Vihari has chopped on. Fernando with a big scalp. Full and wide, went for the drive and got an inside edge. The set Vihari falls for 58 off 128. Two slips and a gully in place.
GONE! Kohli has been clean bowled! Embuldeniya with a big breakthrough. A length ball on middle stump, Kohli offers a straight bat but the ball spins past the willow and hits the off stump. Kohli goes for 45. Pant joins Vihari.
IND 164/2 in 42 overs: Virat Kohli reaches 8000 Test runs with a single. He is now the sixth Indian in the 8,ooo-runs club. Meanwhile, the number of no-balls are piling up for Embuldeniya (29 in his career so far). Kohli is very nearly caught and bowled! An Embuldeniya ball stopped on Kohli as he tried to defend, and it lobbed back towards the bowler and fell just short! Sri Lanka have put a lid on the scoring rate but India are still moving at nearly 4 an over.
IND 150/2 in 37 overs: Vihari brings up his 50 with a single. Batting at No. 3, where he generally plays for his first-class side, he has taken 93 balls to get to the milestone. Sense of calm and control in his innings so far. Virat Kohli, at the other end, has exuded style and composure.
IND 135/2 in 32 overs: The highlight of the last five overs was a front-foot flick by Kohli. Lakmal bowled full, swinging it in and Kohli, with his glorious timing, dismissed it for four. Vihari matched it with an equally gorgeous clip between midwicket and mid-on for four off Lakmal. Lakmal again too full, shaping in, and duly put away. Embuldeniya, meanwhile, was marginally short and Kohli rocks back to pull it to the mid-wicket fence. The partnership between the two is now 55.
IND 113/2 in 27 overs: Lasith Embuldeniya with the ball. Vihari on strike. Slightly full, on leg stump, driven straight down the ground for four. Just four off the over.
LUNCH [IND 109/2 in 26 overs]: The first session comes to an end with Dhananjaya conceding four off the 26th over. Sri Lanka has pulled things back a bit after the opening fifty-run stand came in quick time for Rohit and Mayank. While Vihari seems to be enjoying his stay in the middle, Kohli will have a lot running on his mind, having come to the crease in his 100th Test.
IND 105/2 in 25 overs: A stifled appeal for Kohli's wicket off Embuldeniya's last ball of the 21st over as Kohli gets an inside edge to dip just in front of his boots.
A glorious straight drive past Fernando sees Kohli pick up his first boundary.
The 100 comes up for India in 22.1 overs. The silly point is gone as Kohli takes strike again.
Offie Dhananjaya de Silva, playing his 100th First Class game, will be bowling his first over as Kohli ditches his helmet for a cap. A solitary run comes off the over.
The silly point is back for Kohli as Embuldeniya resumes.
IND 91/2 in 20 overs: Lahiru seems to be bothering Vihari a bit with his extra pace. Karunaratne, meanwhile, has stationed a wide first slip to cover more area.
Embuldeniya continues to pitch the ball around the dry area of the pitch to extract more turn. Some sloppy work in the field by Karunaratne hands three runs to Viihari.
Lahiru, meanwhile, squeezes in a maiden over.
The finger goes up! Mayank has been trapped plumb in front of the sticks by Embuldeniya. After a brief consultation with Vihari, he decides not to go for the review, which means the biggest moment in this Test is here. VIRAT KOHLI IS SAUNTERING TO THE CENTRE. A leading edge but Kohli survives. Heart-in-mouth moment for the 50 per cent crowd in Mohali.
Vihari has creamed Fernando through covers. He has looked extremely comfortable at the crease today.
IND 75/1 in 15 overs: Vihari, coming on the back of decent showings in the Ranji Trophy, will face Lakmal, whose deliveries are tending to keep a bit low. The red-ball specialist gets a boundary off a half-volley through square leg. There is hardly any swing on offer now.
Driven and how! There is a lot of pace on offer from Lahiru and Vihari does the needful. Time for drinks.
Spin has been introduced as Embuldeniya comes into the attack. Mayank makes good use of the depth of the crease and slices it through the gap near deep backward point.
Agarwal asks Vihari to push for the extra run as Fernando fumbles on the field. India picks up three runs.
The Sri Lankans go up in appeal after the ball crashes into Vihari's pads. However, they are quick to retract as well. Turns out, there was a big inside edge.
IND 53/1 in 10 overs: Fernando to continue. Rohit pushes for a quick single with a dab towards backward point; crucial when the surface is still hard. Mayank gets four more - the high backlift comes into effect again as the opener's bat speed carries the ball swiftly through cover.
Mayank jabs one past the fielder at deep square leg for a couple. The alarm goes off again meaning, it is the second no-ball of the innings from Lakmal.
Lahiru Kumara has been welcomed into the attack with a clip towards on side for four. A juicy full toss onto Rohit's pads... he isn't missing out on those for anything. Rohit gets the placement right... With a length too full, Lahiru has been punched through the covers. Karunaratne walks up to Lahiru to have a chat.
After Lakmal's over goes for three, Rohit swats a 149kph-short ball from Lahiru in front of square in disdain. Another boundary off the very next ball brings up the fifty-run stand in quick time. Sri Lanka has its breakthrough! Lahiru bowls this much straighter and Rohit, cramped for space, goes for the pull. Lakmal, at fine leg, makes no mistake. Hanuma Vihari, India's new No. 3, walks in.
IND 23/0 in 5 overs: Lakmal starts off with a loosener and follows it up with an outswinger. In his last nine Test matches, Lakmal has averaged 22.00 with the ball. A maiden over to start with. What will keep the batter guessing is Lakmal's added ability to move it into the right-handers.
Vishwa Fernando to turn up the heat from the Shivalik end. With a nudge towards point, Rohit has got the scoreboard running.
Three slips in place for Rohit in the third over. The Indian skipper, looking to play across the pads towards the on side, is trapped in his crease and deceived by the rising ball. Gets a leading edge and is lucky it doesn't balloon to a fielder. Rohit brings up the first boundary, playing at a ball that kept straight after pitching
Agarwal gets off the mark with two back-to-back boundaries off Fernando's bowling. Bowled too short and wide... and with a fast outfield Agarwal doesn't mind. Rohit decides to open the face of his bat and explore the third man area as well. Four more!
Lakmal sticks to a tight channel initially in the fifth over. However, after he oversteps, Mayank guides another fuller delivery down the third man region for four.
- Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal making their way to the middle. Suranga Lakmal to open the bowling.
- Time for the national anthems. Sri Lanka is up first.
- Kohli has been felicitated with a framed Test cap by head coach Rahul Dravid. "It is a special moment for me. My wife is here and so is my brother. Everyone is very proud. It is indeed a team game and it couldn't have been possible without you. Thanks to the BCCI as well. In present day cricket, with the amount we play with three formats and an IPL, the one takeaway the next generation can take from me is that I played 100 games in the purest format," says Kohli.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (w), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jayant Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Pathum Nissanka, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Lahiru Kumara, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Embuldeniya, Vishwa Fernando
WHAT THEY SAID
Karunaratne: We wanted to bat first as well. We are playing three seamers, but it is a good wicket to bat on. We have played 300 Tests but never won in India. We have a good team, with the senior and junior combinations. We are prepared. We are going in with two spinners.
Rohit: Important for us to put runs on the board and take it from there. It is a huge honour to be captaining India. It is something I never dreamt of. We know it is a special occasion. Not many people go on to play 100 Tests, and Virat has been looking forward to this game. We are playing three spinners and two seamers.
Rohit Sharma, in his first game as Test skipper, wins the toss and opts to bat.
After six years of facilitating the team’s unprecedented success, sharpening its killer instinct, intimidating opponents, and sowing the seeds for a world-class fast-bowling attack, Virat Kohli braces up for the third phase of his prosperous Test career, now with the responsibility of captaincy away from him for good.
Kohli, the batter, will be one of the main objects of focus during the first Test against Sri Lanka at the PCA stadium here.
The Indian cricket team has gone through abrupt changes in recent months, and perhaps a decisive shift in the ethos is palpable. The old bullishness is slowly giving away to prudence and caution.
Friday’s Test won’t feature regulars Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Ishant Sharma and Wriddhiman Saha, some of whom seem to be well past their prime and all of whom have been judged based on their performances as well as their value for the future.
The selectors have instead thrown a lifeline to players who haven’t been in the periphery of the national team despite performances in first-class cricket: Priyank Panchal, who has been piling on runs for a decade for Gujarat; S. Bharat, a capable bat and a reliable guard behind the stumps for Andhra; and Saurabh Kumar, the left-arm spinner for Uttar Pradesh.
New challenge for Rohit
India’s fresh start in 2022 is being shepherded in by Rohit Sharma, an excellent batter but one who struggled to cement his spot in the Test team for several years. Now a regular in the red-ball format with runs in England last year, Rohit earned the captaincy after 15 years of international cricket across formats.
The legacy of Kohli is a big one – victories in SENA countries (only in South Africa and New Zealand success has eluded the side) - and Rohit will surely want to establish his imprint without losing the gains made under Kohli.
His captaincy record with Mumbai Indians will give him confidence for the top job, but leading the team in Test cricket is a wholly different challenge, a fact he admitted in the press conference. The upcoming Test, then also becomes a trial for the untested Rohit for his decision-making capacities, his intuitions, and his body language.
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India may see new spinners blossom under Rohit, and it remains to be seen if he can provide the finishing touches to the team's dominance in England and Australia.
Dimuth Karunaratne’s Sri Lanka will be keen to spring a surprise and obtain its first-ever win in India, in what will be its 300th Test. It can take inspiration from Bandula Warnapura’s team in September 1982 that came three wickets close to securing a victory.
Stalwarts Angelo Mathews, Karunaratne and Dinesh Chandimal lend weight to the batting, and the team has promising young players in Pathum Nissanka and Charith Asalanka. The spin attack led by Lasith Embuldeniya, however, isn’t too strong; Wanindu Hasaranga, the leg-spinner, hasn’t yet recovered from COVID-19.
For India, the major puzzle will be the middle-order slots left vacant, for Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer are all capable batters, in form and possessing excellent credentials. The three fast bowlers chosen for this game could be Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah, the vice-captain.
"A very good batting track. A closer look shows a lot of cracks. But the groundsmen tell me these are not going to widen. There will be a lot of traffic in the middle during the course of the game. The spike marks will make certain areas crumble. There are patches of grass which will aid carry that will assist pacers. The spinners will come to play later on. One would look to win the toss and bat," reckon Deep Dasgupta and Russell Arnold .
DREAM11 FANTASY TEAM
Wicketkeepers: Niroshan Dickwella, Rishabh Pant
Batters: Virat Kohli, Dimuth Karunaratne, Shreyas Iyer (vc)
All-rounders: Ravindra Jadeja (c) , Ravichandran Ashwin, Dhananjaya de Silva
Bowlers: Suranga Lakmal, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj
Team composition: IND 7:4 SL | Credits left: 0.5
PREDICTED PLAYING XI
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hanuma Vihari, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah (vc), Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Pathum Nissanka, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Lahiru Kumara, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Embuldeniya, Praveen Jayawickrama
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Mayank Agarwal, Priyank Panchal, Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hanuma Vihari, S. Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Saurabh Kumar, Jayant Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah (vc), Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Dhananjaya de Silva (vc), Angelo Mathews, Charith Asalanka, Kusal Mendis, Pathum Nissanka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Lasith Embuldeniya, Vishwa Fernando, Praveen Jayawickrama, Chamika Karunaratne, Lahiru Kumara, Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera, Jeffrey Vandersay.
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