Sehwag, Gambhir pulverise Lankans

Cracking start

Sehwag, Gambhir pulverise Lankans

TERRIFIC DUO: Virender Sehwag (left) and Gautam Gambhir, who both scored centuries, gave a rousing start to India’s innings on the first day of the second Test match against Sri Lanka in Kanpur on Tuesday. Reuters

On a flattish deck, watched by more than 20,000 adoring spectators at Green Park here, the original destroyer and his worthy successor joined hands in a breathtaking fusion of power, timing, placement and finesse as India raced away to 417 for two—the highest score by India on the first day of a Test match.

Sehwag’s reputation as a decimator of bowling attacks is well chronicled; Gambhir is catching up with his more celebrated colleague, as teams across the world are rapidly finding out. His memorable 167 was Gambhir’s seventh hundred in his last nine Tests. Each one of those tons has been different, some setting up victories, others snatching honourable draws from the jaws of defeat. What’s common to all of them has been the assurance, composure and poise with which they have been compiled. It was normal service on Tuesday as Gambhir imperiously drove Sri Lanka into submission. What was a break from convention was an unusually circumspect Sehwag at the beginning, chastened after being dropped in the first over and determined to give the first hour to the bowlers.

Once Sehwag, too, found his bearings, Sri Lanka were sent on a hiding to nothing. The celebrated spin triumvirate of Muralitharan, Rangana Herath and ‘mystery man’ Ajantha Mendis was pulverised during a bruising opening stand of 233, gaps found with elan.
The Sri Lankans apart, there wasn’t one person at the ground who didn’t enjoy the spectacle. The prospect of more to follow on the morrow should make for an uncomfortable night for the Lankans.

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