MARCH 6, 2022
Brief Scorecard: India 574 for 8 dec. (Jadeja 175*, Pant 96, Ashwin 61, Vihari 58) beat Sri Lanka 174 (Nissanka 61*, Jadeja 5-41) and 178 (Dickwella 51*, Jadeja 4-46, Ashwin 4-47) by an innings and 222 runs
Player of the Match Ravindraa Jadeja
MOHALI, PUNJAB – Rohit Sharma could not have asked for a better start to his Test captaincy tenure, thanks to “Rockstar” Ravindra Jadeja’s all-round heroics as India hammered an insipid Sri Lankan side by an innings and 222 runs inside 3 days in the first of a 2-match series in Mohali on Sunday.
India picked up 16 wickets on Day 3 as Sri Lanka were bundled out twice in 4 sessions and conceded a 1-0 lead in the 2-match series.
With the victory, India also ended a 2-match losing streak in Tests as they put behind the loss against South Africa earlier this year to return to winning ways, albeit at home against Sri Lankan side that lacked intent throughout the course of the Test match.
The gulf in class between the two sides as the visitors, led by Dimuth Karunaratne, were of no match to the well-oiled Indian side who paid a fitting tribute to former captain Virat Kohli who completed his 100th Test in Mohali.
175*, 9-wicket match haul: ROCKSTAR JADEJA REIGNS SUPREME
Ravindra Jadeja, who paid tribute to one of his earliest mentors — the late Shane Warne, single-handedly dominated the Sri Lankans with both bat and ball as he became only the 6th cricketer to hit a 150-plus score and pick up a 5-wicket haul in a Test match. He scripted history by becoming only the 3rd Indian and the first in 60 years after Poly Umrigar in 1962.
Jadeja finished with figures of 4/46 in the 2nd innings to follow up the 5-wicket haul in the first innings as Sri Lanka were bundled out for 174 and 178 on Sunday.
Jadeja’s 175 not out helped India post a mammoth total of 574/8 declared in their first innings after Rohit won the toss and opted to bat. He returned to hurt Sri Lanka with the ball, picking up a 5-wicket haul, giving away just 41 runs as Sri Lanka were bundled out for 174 in the first innings.
Jadeja, who had dismissed Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne on Day 2 of the series opener, ran through the Sri Lankan lower middle-order in the first session on Sunday. Jadeja got Niroshan Dickwella out for 2 and then got Suranga Lakmal in the same over for 0. He then got the wicket of tail-enders Vishwa Fernando and Lahiru Kumara in successive deliveries as India bowled out Sri Lanka for 174 in the first innings, sealing a massive lead of 400 runs.
Captain Rohit did not have any hesitation to enforce the follow-on as India bowled only 65 overs in their first innings.
R ASHWIN GOES PAST KAPIL DEV AS SRI LANKA FOLLOW-ON
It was R Ashwin’s time to weave magic in the 2nd innings as the off-spinner removed opener Dimutth Karunaratne early after Sri Lanka were asked to bat again. He then got the big wicket of Pathum Nissanka, who had hit a gritty 61 not out in the first innings, to equal Kapil Dev’s tally of 434 wickets in the all-time Test wicket-takers list.
Ashwin had to wait a bit more to get the milestone wicket but he got Charith Asalanka right after Tea to go past Kapil on the elite list. With 435 wickets and counting, Ashwin is now the 2nd highest Indian wicket-taker in Tests as he is only behind Anil Kumble, who finished his decorated career with 619 wickets. Ashwin is now 9th on the all-time lists.
Jadeja and Ashwin jolted Sri Lanka, ending a stiff resistance from Angelo Matthews and Asalanka. Jadeja got the big wicket of Matthews to hit the final nail in the visitor’s coffin following which he removed Suranga Lakmal for a pair.
Pacers Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah did not have to work much as they bowled only 35 overs between them in the first Test. 5th bowler Jayant Yadav was not able to penetrate much as well.
It was disappointing to see a timid batting effort from Sri Lanka, who were expected to fare better against spin after India showed the way, posting a total in excess of 500 on a good batting pitch in Mohali. Pathum Nissanka was the only batter from the Sri Lankan side who managed to hit a fifty in a disappointing show in the first Test.
PLENTY OF POSITIVES FOR NEW CAPTAIN ROHIT
Earlier in the Test, wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant missed out on a hundred by just 4 runs after Kohli got out for 45. India were in a spot of bother but a 130-run stand between Jadeja and Ashwin for the 7th wicket took the match away from the Sri Lankans.
Jadeja batted wonderfully well with tail-ender Mohammed Shami as the two added 103 runs for the 9th wicket before India declared their innings with Jadeja not out on 175, his highest Test score.
India have had plenty of positives to take from their big win in the first Test as Hanuma Vihari also shone while batting at No. 3 for the first time, hitting a fifty in the first innings. Captain Rohit did not have a lot on his plate but he looked assured leading India for the first time in whites.
The 2nd Test, a day-night affair, will be played from March 12 in Bengaluru.
Courtesy/Source: India Today