After the great performances in bowling by R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, claiming seven wickets, India restricted the Lankans to a miserly score of 205. However, India failed to get a good start with the bat, as KL Rahul was dismissed early as India ended the day with 11/1.
Brief Scores : Sri Lanka 205/10 (Dinesh Chandimal 57, Dimuth Karunaratne 51; R Ashwin 4/67, R Jadeja 3/56) lead India 11/1 (KL Rahul 7, Murali Vijay 2*; P Gamage 1/4) by 194 runs.
Before the Nagpur Test, one of the biggest subjects of discussion was Virat Kohli’s request to create South African conditions for the team to play in against Sri Lanka as the team is getting oly a couple of days rest before the South African tour, the skipper asked to transform their Test series into a practice session for the overseas challenge. While conditions at the Eden Gardens were made as ordered by the skipper, the Nagpur Test seemed to have similar bounce and assistance for the pacers.
However, Kohli surprised his opponents and confused the experts when he decided to go with just four bowlers – two spinning all-rounders and two pacers. This decision comes after Kohli had stated that he was unsure if India would play South Africa with two spinners. Though things went well for the hosts during the first innings, it could easily have gone the other way around had Ishant Sharma not struck early. With Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami absent, India decided to go with Umesh Yadav and Sharma, who took much of the workload before lunch.
Dimuth Karunaratne has been one of the bright spots in a Sri Lankan side that has been reeling since the departure of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. After being the only player to show some sort of resistance against India, earlier this year, scoring 285 runs in three Tests at an average of 47.5, he then contributed 306 runs in four innings, against Pakistan which included a career-best score of 196 runs.
After scoring only 9 runs in the Kolkata Test, he found his groove again in Nagpur with a brilliant half-century on the first day of the second Test. His 51-run knock was even more impressive considering the struggles that the other batsmen faced. Not only did he add to his three fifties in the year, Karunaratne became only the second player this year to score 1000 years in the calendar year.