Talking Points: The horrible review and contrasting debuts

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27 Jul 2017 11:28 AM IST

Hardik Pandya was the reason why India could post 600 after being eight down with 517 on the board.

He was preferred ahead of chinaman Kuldeep Yadav and specialist batsman Rohit Sharma to provide India the depth and an extra seaming option.

He has ticked one box, in style.

Known for his big hitting, Pandya didn't disappoint, coming in to bat at no. 8. Batting with the tail is always a tricky challenge, something which legendary batsman VVS Laxman was a master at. On Thursday, Pandya took the challenge head on and with some help from Mohammed Shami, who also had a fun outing, scoring run-a-ball 30. With three sixes and five fours, Pandya scored a 49-ball 50 and added 62 runs for the ninth wicket with Shami.

Nuwan Pradeep was Sri Lanka's best bowler on Wednesday and he continued be so, second day in the running.

He made an early breakthrough in the morning snaring overnight batsman Cheteshwar Pujara for 153. And then when Ravichandran Ashwin was in the midway of a fluent knock, bounced him out for 47 which also was his fifth wicket of the innings - the first time he did that in Test cricket.

Umesh Yadav trapped Sri Lanka opener Dimuth Karunaratne with an inswinger in his first over just before tea. The on-field umpire had no hesitation in adjudging that out but Karunaratne thought differently.

After a brief chat with Upul Tharanga, he opted for the Decision Review System, hoping against the hope.

That it was a horrible decision became evident when the TV umpire said it wasn't the greatest of reviews.

Expectedly, the replays showed the ball would have crashed on the middle stump.

The on-field umpire's decision was upheld and the left-hander was sent on his way back to the dressing room.

There are two debutants in the ongoing Test - one each from the two teams.

Pandya, an allrounder, who has already impressed with his limited-overs performances for India while Danushka Gunathilaka, a top-order batsman, is making his first appearance in Test whites for Sri Lanka.

Their first foray in the five-day format at the international level turned out to be a contrasting affair.

Pandya batted with the tail to help his side to a formidable total while scoring a half-century.

But Gunathilaka would be kicking himself for throwing away a start on a belter of a surface on which he could have made a strong start to his career.

Batting on 16, he went after a delivery that was well outside off while staying rooted to his crease.

The result was an edge that was easily caught by the slip fielder.

In two days, the Sri Lankan fielders have had two rude awakenings in Galle.

The importance of catches in cricket cannot be emphasised enough, yet they ended up grassing two chances and were made to pay dearly.

The first of it not only set Shikhar Dhawan on a blazing 190 but also resulted in Asena Gunaratne fracturing his thumb and being subsequently ruled out of the Test and the series.

The second time, the culprit was Dimuth Karunaratne and the beneficiary Hardik Pandya who was batting on 4 when he received a reprieve after edging one to the first slip.

He went on to score a brisk 49-ball half-century and took India to 600. In another sharp contrast, the Indians were on the money in the field too. Abhinav Mukund effected a brilliant run-out and took a stunning catch while fielding at silly point to leave Sri Lanka reeling.

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