The worst start India faced in Test after a long stretch. In the first day match against Sri Lanka at Eden Garden India played only 11.5 overs. The first two sessions were washed out completely leaving only a short stretch to start the match. Sri Lanka won the toss and send India to bat. It was a sly conspiracy of Sri Lanka spinners at the rain cladded pitch. The result; India lost three wickets in 11.5 overs before rain stopped the match again.
It seemed rain salvaged India from losing more wickets to Sri Lankan bowlers, especially, Suranga Lakmal. The bowler nicked three wickets in the day, while Dasun Shanaka had two in the following. When Sri Lanka visited India last, almost a decade back, something similar happened to the host.
India opened its inning with Lokesh Rahul and Shekhar Dhawan. But it was Sri Lanka who flashed with dominance. It was the first delivery of the match from Lakmal that dragged Rahul back to pavilion. The player handed a catch to Dickwella to lose his wicket for a duck after seven successive half-centuries.
As Cheteshwar Pujara and Dhawan began to struggle, the latter played a loose drive to finish his game getting clean bowled, Lakmal thumbed down another wicket. Kohli came to partner with Pujara, but he could not touch the ball in 10 deliveries. Finally, after the tea break the skipper tried to drive a delivery off Lakmal, but the shot ended hitting his pads for an lbw. India was at 17 for 3 after the end of 10 overs. It was the end of the day for India with Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane as overnight batsmen.
The show was still on for Sri Lanka. In the following day, Rahane was contained as the first wicket of the day. It was Shanaka this time who wreaked the line-up. R Ashwin followed the trail batting for 29 balls. He added 4 runs before surrendering his wicket to Shanaka. Throughout the slog of wickets, Cheteshwar Pujara played with discipline, which became his survival tactic. By 33 overs, the player scored 47 runs hauling India’s score to 74.
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