Shikhar Dhawan smashed a career-best 190 on his Test comeback to lead a brilliant Indian batting assault on the opening day of the first Test against Sri Lanka on Wednesday.
The left-handed opener struck 31 boundaries in a blazing 168-ball knock and Cheteshwar Pujara joined in with an unbeaten 144 to take the visitors to 399-3 at stumps.
The hosts toiled in the Galle field and suffered a major blow when all-rounder Asela Gunaratne broke his thumb trying to take a catch off Dhawan.
He is set to undergo a surgery Wednesday and is almost certain to miss the rest of the three-Test series.
Dhawan and Pujara put on 253 for the second wicket – India’s highest second-wicket stand against Sri Lanka—after skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to bat under an overcast sky.
Dhawan, drafted into the Indian squad at the last moment, said it was a blow to get out so close to a maiden double hundred.
“Of course I was disappointed that I got out for 190, I would have loved to have scored a 200,” Dhawan said.
“But more than that, I got out at the wrong time. It was the last over before tea. But the way I was playing, I was confident that I could clear the mid-off fielder and I was almost hitting a boundary per over.
“I was in that zone and I backed myself. Unfortunately it didn’t go my way.”
Dhawan was out in the last over before tea when he handed a simple catch off paceman Nuwan Pradeep to Angelo Mathews at mid-off.
Kohli was dismissed for three when he tried to pull a chest-high delivery from Pradeep, who took three for 64, but nicked behind instead to Niroshan Dickwella.
Pradeep’s appeal was initially turned down but the decision was overturned by the TV umpire when replays showed the ball had grazed Kohli’s bat.