After the comfortable win in the last test match, the Indian batting returned to put on another mammoth performance to take early advantage in the match as proceedings closed for Day 2 in Colombo. Coming into the day at 344 for 3, after Cheteshwara Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane scored brilliant unbeaten centuries, India were looking to put a big score to push the Lankans to back foot. Pujara departed in the first few minutes, falling to Karunaratne who was filling for the injured Nuwan Pradeep. Pujara fell for 133. India crosses the 400 mark by the drinks in the first session, as Rahane and Ashwin stood tall maintaining a steady pace of runs. It was Rahane who fell after the break to Pushparahane, bringing the majestic innings to an end and giving the Sri Lankan rookie his first ever Test wicket. By the end of the first session, India had put on 86 runs and lost two more wickets. The beginning of the second session saw a clean hit from Ashwin for a six that brought up his 11th Test fifty and also 2000 runs in Test cricket, but he fell immediately after to Rangana Herath. After a cameo by last match’s hero Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja came out to bat at No.9, which says a lot about the depth of the Indian batting lineup. Jadeja played his part in India’s plans, helping accelerate the rate of scoring with Saha as India put on a 109 runs in before tea. Jadeja completed his right Test half century with a four as India inched closer to the 600 run-mark, for the second time in two Tests. After Shami departed hitting two consecutive sixes, India put on 24 more runs before declaring their innings at 622/9.
With just above an hour to go before the stumps, captain Virat Kohli pressed in his top spinner Ashwin to attack, and the results were immediate – Upul Tharanga was dismissed for a duck after KL Rahul snatched a stunner in the opening minutes of the Lankan innings. Ashwin came back later for more as Karunaratne, the other opener, was caught off the first slip off a turning Ashwin delivery. Sri Lanka ended the day on the backfoot at 40/2, with Chandimal and Mendis at the crease. They have their tasks cut out for day 3 as the Lankans try to escape a follow on.