New Delhi (December 02, 2017): India skipper Virat Kohli (156 no) and opener Murali Vijay (155) struck grand centuries to turn the first day of the final Test against Sri Lanka into a lopsided affair as India finished the day with 371-4.
Both teams seemed to have given up even before the third Test was into a few overs at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground on Saturday. Sri Lanka, left ragged after India’s innings and 239-run victory in the second Test, didn’t put up a semblance of a fight even at the start.
India were resigned to play on a pitch that showed no life to challenge their batsmen to prepare for the tough South Africa tour, starting on January 5. And that simply meant they had to focus on the present – tame conditions and a weak opposition.The result was India batsmen hammering the Sri Lankan attack to finish the day on 371 for four. Kohli and Vijay put on 283 runs for the third wicket.
The 29-year-old batsman smashed his 20th Test century – third in a row in this series — after becoming the 11th Indian to complete 5,000 runs, delighting a large home crowd chanting his name. The pitch offered little to the bowlers but Sri Lanka bowled many loose deliveries to make things easier for the hosts.
A 110-ball century, at a strike rate of over 90, saw boundaries flow off the bat without Kohli having to strain, his supreme fitness shining through after a 213 in Nagpur.
Kohli took just 186 deliveries to reach 156, leaving him with a good chance to get to a maiden triple century.
Kohli is the second fastest Indian to 20 centuries (105 innings). Only Sunil Gavaskar (93) is ahead while Sachin Tendulkar took 107 innings. Overall, Don Bradman (55), Gavaskar, Matthew Hayden (95) and Steve Smith (99) got to the mark faster.