MOHALI: Ravindra Jadeja reaffirmed his status as the country's premier Test all-rounder with an attractive century while his spin bowling partner Ravichandran Ashwin hit a half-ton, taking India to a comfortable 468 for 7 at lunch against Sri Lanka on the second day of the first Test here on Saturday.
Jadeja (102 batting off 166 balls) scored his second Test hundred with 10 boundaries, while Ashwin (61 off 82 balls), who has always had a great batting track record in the sub-continent, scored his 12th fifty in the longest format.
The hundred would be an immense confidence booster for the Saurashtra man, who had missed four Tests this season due to a knee injury.
India is slowly and surely batting Sri Lanka out of the game as the seventh wicket partnership of 130 runs between Jadeja and Ashwin, has in all likelihood, put a final nail in their coffin unless, there is an out of the world batting effort from Sri Lanka. The 111-run off 27 overs during the session came at brisk pace, courtesy India's spin twins.
The Sri Lankan team looked despondent at the start of the day and Dimuth Karunaratne's defensive field placings was a testimony how they were just trying to bide time rather than think of getting wickets. Their left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya (39-3-152-2) at one point was bowling with a long-off, deep mid-wicket, deep fine leg and deep point trying to save boundaries. The result was Jadeja-Ashwin was milking the bowling for singles and doubles but also getting their share of fours.
Hence, it was a wicketless session and rightly so after the home team had hit more than 50 boundaries and four sixes so far. There was a point when both the batters just casually drove the half volleys to the fence and there was not a single Sri Lankan bowler who put any extra effort.
Finally, after having faced 81 deliveries and hitting eight boundaries, Ashwin was dismissed when Suranga Lakmal dug one short and the batter gloved a hook shot to keeper Niroshan Dickwella. But that didn't deter Jadeja from completing his three-figure mark by pushing an Embuldeniya delivery towards cover for a single which brought out the customary sword celebration.