India recovered from Jonny Bairstow clinching yet another century to finish an eventful third day of the fourth Test against England with a healthy 257-run lead.

Bairstow led a fine England counter in a thrilling morning session, bringing up his third century in as many Tests as the hosts looked to make up for a poor start to their first innings.

But after Bairstow's team-mates toiled in being bowled out for 284, India recovered from the early loss of Shubman Gill to reach 125-3 by close of play, leaving the hosts with it all to do on day four. 

The hosts enjoyed some good fortune upon resuming, with skipper Ben Stokes (25-36) being dropped in inexplicable fashion by Jasprit Bumrah before gifting the visiting captain a catch with an identical shot off the very next ball.

As has often been the case since Brendon McCullum took charge, England were left to rely on the brilliant Bairstow, who dragged them into contention by bringing up his century – the 11th of his Test career - off 119 balls shortly after lunch.

But their momentum dissipated when Mohammed Shami had him caught for 106 off 140 to reduce England to 241-7, before Mohammed Siraj dismissed Stuart Broad (1-5) in the very next over and finished the innings 4-66 after accounting for Sam Billings (36-57) and Matthew Potts (19-18).

Needing a fast start to have any hope of teeing up another successful chase, England were boosted when James Anderson had Gill (4-3) caught at slip, his fourth Test dismissal of the India opener.

Broad and Stokes then claimed a wicket apiece as Hanuma Vihari (11-44) and the out-of-form Virat Kohli (20-44) were felled, before Cheteshwar Pujara bought up a slow half-century off 139 balls. 

He and Rishabh Pant (30 not out) were then content to see the day out in quiet fashion, with England now requiring wickets to fall quickly on Monday.

Brilliant Bairstow drags England into contention

The pressure was on when England resumed on Sunday, and Bairstow – so often the key man in the early days of McCullum's red-ball revolution, stepped up after a bout of sledging from Kohli.

In recording his first century against India in Test cricket, Bairstow went from 13 off 61 balls to 100 off 119, going up through the gears in rapid fashion when England needed him most.

Siraj halts hosts' progress

With England having recovered from 84-5 to 241-7 by Bairstow's dismissal, India could have been forgiven for thinking back to the way McCullum's men conducted three successful chases of over 250 against New Zealand in their recent series whitewash.

But Siraj stepped up to claim a four-wicket haul as India held off their hosts, leaving England requiring something special to level the series at 2-2.

Rishabh Pant's inspired counter-attack ensured India ended day one of the final Test against England at Edgbaston still firmly in the match.

England came into the rearranged final encounter of last year's series on a high following the whitewash of New Zealand and soon reduced India to 98-5, before Pant (146 off 111) and Ravindra Jadeja (83 not out) led the fightback.

Their partnership of 222 – in which Pant did the heavy lifting with a barrage of boundaries and the fastest Test century by an India wicketkeeper – helped carry the tourists to 338-7 by stumps.

Ben Stokes had unsurprisingly put India in to bat, potentially pursuing a fourth successive successful fourth-innings chase.

The England captain first needed his bowlers to deliver, and James Anderson (3-52) did exactly that in the morning session in tempting edges from Shubman Gill (17) and Cheteshwar Pujara (13) – Zak Crawley taking each catch either side of putting down a chance from Hanuma Vihari off the bowling of Matthew Potts.

Rain interrupted play – bringing an early lunch – but not England's momentum, as Potts (2-85) pinned Vihari (20) and then bamboozled Virat Kohli (11), who pulled his bat away too late and saw the ball run off the face into his stumps.

Anderson's third wicket from Shreyas Iyer (15) owed a great deal to a superb Sam Billings catch, yet Pant's big hitting turned the tide – helped by some increasingly untidy work from England.

Pant eventually departed to Joe Root, nicking to Crawley in attempting another blast to pass 150, but the hosts still have work to do with the ball before they will again be asked to score well with the bat in a continuation of this entertaining new era under Stokes.

New foe for Kohli

Many have pondered the possibility this is the last time Anderson and Kohli come face to face in a Test match, given the England great turns 40 later this month. No bowler has claimed more Kohli wickets in Tests than Anderson (seven).

But this time it was the turn of the new man. Potts had stunning figures of 3-3 bowling to Kane Williamson in the New Zealand series and quickly added another huge scalp, with Kohli now averaging an underwhelming 28.63 for this delayed series.

Pant profits

Despite India's 2-1 lead as they bid to win a Test series in England for the first time since 2007, Kohli was not alone in struggling slightly with the bat last year. Pant's series average entering this match was 20.86, with a high score of 50.

But suspicions England's aggressive approach could soon meet their match were affirmed by his ability to find the boundary time and again, avoiding the sort of errors on which Stokes' attack might have preyed. Pant had 23 boundaries in this innings, surpassing his 15 in the previous four matches between the sides combined.

Ben Stokes warned England are capable of taking their aggressive new approach to another level ahead of the rearranged fifth Test against India.

England started a new era under Test captain Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum by beating New Zealand 3-0.

They went on the attack in three big run chases to whitewash the Black Caps, who defeated India to win the inaugural World Test Championship final last year.

England will get the chance to continue riding the crest of a wave at Edgbaston on Friday, aiming to draw the series 2-2 in a match that was due to be played at Old Trafford last year, only for India to head home early due to fears over an increase in coronavirus cases in their camp.

Asked if England can be even more positive in the longest format, Stokes replied: "If there's a team that can, it's us."

Stokes did not play in the four Tests against India last year, as he was taking a break to protect his mental health while also recovering from a broken finger.

The all-rounder is relishing an opportunity to maintain the momentum now, though.

"It is a bit strange," he said. "It is different opposition, but I made it very clear after the New Zealand series how we're going to do things, and we're going to go out there and try to operate in the same way."

James Anderson replaces Jamie Overton after missing the victory over the Black Caps at Headingley due to an ankle injury, while wicketkeeper-batter Sam Billings plays as Ben Foakes has not fully recovered from COVID-19.

Paceman Jasprit Bumrah will captain the tourists for the first time in the absence of Rohit Sharma, who is sidelined after contracting coronavirus.

India have not won an away Test series against England since 2007, and they have never won at Edgbaston in the longest format, losing six matches and drawing one.

Bairstow in the form of his life

Jonny Bairstow has thrived on having license to play with freedom in a new dawn for England.

Bairstow and former captain Joe Root were outstanding with the bat against New Zealand, scoring 394 and 396 runs respectively in six knocks.

The powerful Bairstow has racked up 774 runs this year at an average of 64.5. Only in 2016 (1,470 runs at 58.8) has he scored more in a single year since his debut in the format in 2012.

Kohli closing in on landmark as he eyes elusive century

Virat Kohli was unable to score a long-awaited century against Sri Lanka in March after stepping down as captain.

You have to go back to November 2019 for his last Test hundred, which came against Bangladesh. 

Kohli only needs another 40 runs to reach the 2,000 mark against England in Tests, a feat that only Sachin Tendulkar (2,535) and Sunil Gavaskar (2,483) have achieved.

Cheteshwar Pujara has been rewarded with a return to the India squad for the rearranged fifth Test against England in July after a fine spell in the County Championship.

India, led by Virat Kohli, were 2-1 up in the five-match Test series in England before the tourists were unable to field a team due to coronavirus-related concerns in September.

The one-off Test starts at Edgbaston on July 1, following a four-day warm-up game against Leicestershire on June 24, and India have named their 17-man red-ball squad.

Pujara was dropped for the home Test series against Sri Lanka but has been reinstated after managing 720 runs in eight innings for Sussex – including four centuries – in County Championship Division Two.

Ravindra Jadeja is also part of the touring party despite pulling out of the ongoing Indian Premier League due to a rib injury, while Hanuma Vihari and Shubman Gill retained their spots.

Rohit Sharma will lead the Test side after Kohli, who remains in the squad, stepped down as captain following the 2-1 series defeat to South Africa earlier this year.

Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will lead the bowling attack, which includes Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur and the uncapped Prasidh Krishna.

Ajinkya Rahane was not available for selection after sustaining a hamstring injury, while openers Mayank Agarwal and Priyank Panchal were the other two left out from the Sri Lanka series.

Meanwhile, Rohit, Kohli and Bumrah were all rested for the home five-match T20I series against South Africa, which starts on June 9.

KL Rahul will skipper the white-ball side in Sharma's absence, with fast bowler Umran Malik handed a maiden call-up after impressing in the IPL with Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The experienced Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik return to the international limited-overs squad, while spin duo Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal make their comebacks after taking the IPL by storm.

Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda and Shreyas Iyer all retain their spots, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar heading a bowling attack that includes Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan and Arshdeep Singh.

India’s Test squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain) Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Prasidh Krishna.

India’s T20I squad: KL Rahul (captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (vice-captain)(wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.

Virat Kohli returned to form with a crucial 73 as Royal Challengers Bangalore kept their Indian Premier League playoffs hopes alive with an eight-wicket victory over Gujarat Titans.

Titans opener Wriddhiman Saha scored a brisk 31 and David Miller added 34 in a 61-run partnership with captain Hardik Pandya, who finished unbeaten on 62 as Gujarat posted 168-5 at the Wankhede Stadium.

That total was boosted by a late flurry from Rashid Khan, who smashed 19 off just six balls, but the target seemed below par as RCB's openers raced out of the blocks.

Kohli and Faf du Plessis made a blistering start to the chase, the India star reaching his second half-century of the tournament off 33 deliveries with a six against Khan (2-32).

Khan then removed Du Plessis, caught by Pandya, for 44 with the score on 115-1 in the 15th over, before beating Glenn Maxwell for pace and clipping the stumps without the bails coming off with the next ball.

Maxwell capitalised on the reprieve by blasting the next Pandya over for 21 and, although Khan had Kohli stumped in the 17th over, the Australian's unbeaten 40 off just 18 balls saw RCB over the line with eight deliveries to spare.

RCB's playoff hopes now rely on Delhi Capitals losing to Mumbai Indians on Saturday, while IPL debutants Gujarat are already assured top spot after winning 10 of 14 games.

King Kohli

Before this game, Kohli averaged just 21.45 in the IPL this term – his lowest in the tournament since 2008, when he averaged 15 – and had been dismissed for under 10 runs six times, including three golden ducks.

The 33-year-old has acknowledged he may need a break to rejuvenate mentally and physically, but he was at his imperious best here, smashing eight fours and two sixes in his 54-ball 73.

Hasaranga keeps it tight

Wanindu Hasaranga, who claimed 1-25 from his four-over allocation, continues to dominate through the middle overs for RCB.

The Sri Lanka international dismissed Miller with a wonderful caught and bowled to pick up his 24th wicket of the tournament – the joint-most with Rajasthan Royals' Yuzvendra Chahal.

India star Virat Kohli might take a break to "rejuvenate mentally and physically", but assures he is in "the happiest phase of my life".

Kohli stepped down as India's Test captain in January following a series defeat to South Africa, having already relinquished his role as skipper of his country's white-ball teams.

The 33-year-old has struggled for form in 2022, averaging 21.45 in the ongoing Indian Premier League before Thursday's clash with Gujarat Titans – his lowest figure in the tournament since 2008.

Kohli, who also gave up the captaincy at Royal Challengers Bangalore last year, has not scored a century in any format since November 2019 when he managed 136 in Kolkata against Bangladesh.

While he averages 49.95 in the longest format, Kohli acknowledged it may be time for a rest.

"It's not a lot of people who mentioned it [taking a break]," Kohli told Star Sports. "There is one person precisely who has mentioned it which is Ravi [Shastri] and that's because he has seen from close quarters over the last six, seven years the reality of the situation that I have been in.

"The amount of cricket that I have played and the ups and downs and the toll that it takes on you to play three formats of the game plus the IPL for 10, 11 years non-stop with the seven years of captaincy in between.

"It is definitely a thing that one needs to consider because you don't want to do something which you are not a part of 100 per cent and I have always believed in that in my life.

"So to take a break and when to take a break is obviously something that I need to take a call on, but it is only a healthy decision for anyone to take some time off and just rejuvenate yourself mentally and physically.

"Not so much physically because physical fitness you keep up with through the course of playing cricket all the time, but it is a mental kind of reset that you need, and you want to be excited for what you are doing. You don't want to feel like you have been forcing yourself into any situation.

"It's only a thing of creating a balance and finding that balance which is right for you as an individual moving forward and I'll definitely discuss this with all the people involved – [India coach] Rahul [Dravid], the Indian team management, everyone to chart out whatever is best for myself and for the team definitely."

 

Kohli would not be the first high-profile international player to take a break from cricket to prioritise their mental and physical health, given new England Test captain Ben Stokes did so last year.

However, Kohli insists he is still enjoying his game as he looks to secure a playoff spot in the IPL with Bangalore.

"Right now, there is nothing that you can point out saying there is a problem here," Kohli said.

"I know where my game stands and you cannot come this far in your international career without having the ability to counter the situations and counter conditions and counter different kinds of bowling.

"So this phase for me is the easier phase to process but I don't want to put this behind me. I want to learn from it and understand that what are the core values that I have as a sports person and as a human being.

"As long as I'm ticking those boxes, I know these are ups and downs and when I come out of this phase I know how consistent I can be. I know how motivated I will be once the scores start coming.

"My experiences are sacred to me – whatever I have experienced in this phase or in the past as well. 

"So I am experiencing now that I value myself and I care for my own well-being way more than I would have in the past. And actually, contrary to a lot of belief or a lot of perceptions as I mentioned on the outside, I'm actually in the happiest phase of my life."

Gujarat Titans' inaugural Indian Premier League season goes from strength to strength after David Miller and Rahul Tewatia inspired a six-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The table-topping Titans have now won eight of their opening nine games, chasing down a target of 171 as half-centuries from Virat Kohli (58) and Rajat Patidar (52) proved to be in vain for RCB.

That pair put on 99 for the second wicket after Faf du Plessis went for a duck in the second over but Glenn Maxwell (33) was the only batter to provide a key contribution after Patidar top-edged to square leg and Kohli was undone by a Mohammed Shami yorker.

Wriddhiman Saha (29) and Shubman Gill (31) laid the platform for a successful chase for Gujarat, which Miller (39 not out) and Tewatia (43 not out) ensured despite Shahbaz Ahmed (2-26) trapping Gill lbw and then removing captain Hardik Pandya (3) to reduce the Titans to 78-3.

Their 50 partnership came in just 29 balls and RCB looked increasingly forlorn as they attempted in vain to break up their stand.

Indeed, it is now three defeats in five for RCB, Miller and Tewatia finishing with an unbeaten stand of 79, the latter lofting a cover drive to the boundary to wrap up the win in style.

Wanindu Hasaranga impressed with 2-28, but it was not enough to halt the Titans.

Kohli finds his form

Averaging 20.66 in the IPL this year, Kohli's half-century was his first of the season. He was not able to record another 100 partnership, having put on 118 alongside Du Plessis against Punjab Kings last month. RCB will be hoping he can produce more performances of this ilk to inspire them to a top-four finish.

Miller and Tewatia magic

The Titans needed 36 off the final 18 balls, with a dramatic finish seemingly in the offing. However, Miller and Tewatia took 17 off the 18th over and 12 from the 19th, with a four apiece off the helpless Josh Hazlewood in the final over finishing the job.

Riyan Parag scored an unbeaten 56 and Kuldeep Sen took 4-20 as Rajasthan Royals defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by 29 runs despite Jos Buttler's struggles. 

Buttler has been in immaculate form in the Indian Premier League, scoring successive centuries in the previous two matches, but he lasted just nine balls in Pune on Tuesday. 

The England international's score of eight included one boundary before he was dismissed by Josh Hazlewood (2-19) in the fifth over. 

Sanju Samson struck an entertaining 27, including three sixes, to get the Royals back on track, though it was Parag who ultimately dragged them through. 

Having anchored the back half of the Royals' innings, Parag let rip in the final over, plundering two sixes and a four to get his side to 144-8. 

Faf du Plessis elected to go with Virat Kohli at the top of the order, but RCB's former captain went for nine in the second over. 

Du Plessis tallied up 23 before he fell to Sen, who had Glenn Maxwell for a golden duck with the next delivery. 

Ravichandran Ashwin (3-17) joined the party, dismissing Rajat Patidar, Suyash Prabhudessai and Shahbaz Ahmed, while Dinesh Karthik was run out. 

Wanindu Hasaranga (18) offered some resistance for RCB, though their hopes of avoiding a second straight defeat ended when Sen wrapped up the tail as Rajasthan went top of the IPL on 12 points. 

Parag takes up the mantle

With Buttler failing to ignite, Parag initially showed great composure before that explosive final over when he reached a 29-ball half-century. Harshal Patel, who took 1-33, was the unlucky bowler, with 18 runs coming from those last six balls. 

More frustration for Kohli

It was another bad day at the office for Kohli, who has failed to reach double figures in five of his nine IPL innings in 2022. Indeed, it was a bad day all round for the Challengers, who could have gone top with a win, with only Du Plessis scoring above 20. 

Royal Challengers Bangalore were skittled out for 68 as the Indian Premier League high-flyers suffered a nine-wicket drubbing at the hands of Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The feeble effort was the lowest score posted by any team in the IPL this season, and the writing was on the wall early for a side who entered the match sitting third in the table.

South African quick Marco Jansen took three wickets in the second over of the Bangalore innings on his way to figures of 3-25, removing Faf du Plessis (5), Anuj Rawat (0) and Virat Kohli (0) to earn man-of-the-match honours. The out-of-form Kohli has made just 13 runs across his last four IPL innings.

Indian medium-pacer T Natarajan weighed in with 3-10, as only two batsmen reached double figures for Bangalore, with Glenn Maxwell making 12 and Suyash Prabhudessai top-scoring with 15.

The innings was all done in 16.1 overs, and Sunrisers charged to their target at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, with Abhishek Sharma rattling along to 47 from 28 balls, playing the dominant role as captain Kane Williamson watched admiringly from the other end.

Sharma fell when he looked to hit a match-winning six, caught inside the ropes by Rawat off Harshal Patel, but new batsman Rahul Tripathi blasted a maximum to make sure as Sunrisers reached 72-1 in just eight overs. Sunrisers climb above Bangalore thanks to this victory, jumping to second with five wins from their seven games.

Duck despair strikes again for Kohli

Kohli has been dismissed from the first ball he has faced in each of his last two IPL innings. He went this way against Lucknow Super Giants on April 19, and this is the first instance of him recording a golden duck in consecutive games in the competition.

Bangalore mark anniversary in grim style

Saturday marked five years exactly since Bangalore were dismissed for their lowest score in IPL history, when they were demolished for just 49 when chasing 132 for victory against Kolkata Knight Riders. Kohli made a first-ball duck that day, too.

Dinesh Karthik was the hero for Royal Challengers Bangalore as they edged to a three-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders.

In a remarkable Indian Premier League clash on Wednesday, the Challengers needed seven off the last over as they chased down a modest target of 128.

Wanindu Hasaranga had starred with the ball for Bangalore, taking 4-20, with Andre Russell (25) the only Kolkata batter to surpass 20 runs.

The Knight Riders started well in response with the ball - Anuj Rawat going for a duck in the first over before Faf du Plessis (5) and Virat Kohli (12) fell to Tim Southee (3-20) and Umesh Yadav (2-16) in quick succession.

David Willey's steady 18 helped steady Bangalore, but they could not pick up the run rate, with Shahbaz Ahmed (27) and Sherfane Rutherford (28) also departing – the latter to Sheldon Jackson's excellent catch.

Hasaranga lofted a Southee delivery to Russell to put the pressure on, yet two excellent boundaries from Harshal Patel (10 not out) had Bangalore in the box seat heading into the final over.

Struggling with a shoulder problem, Russell stepped up to bowl, yet Karthik hit a short ball for six before sending the next delivery down the ground to seal a hard-fought win.

Karthik bides his time

In total, Karthik spent 23 minutes at the crease, yet only faced seven deliveries. And after surviving a scare with a miscalled run, the 36-year-old made the final two balls count, showing great composure under huge pressure.

Russell decision backfires

Russell had to leave the field midway through Bangalore's chase to receive treatment on his right shoulder, but it was he who was handed the ball for the decisive final over.

Shreyas Iyer was swiftly made to regret that call, with Russell finishing with figures of 0-36 from 2.2 overs.

The Punjab Kings claimed a dramatic five-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in their Indian Premier League opener, despite Faf du Plessis' impressive debut at the DY Patil Stadium.

Former South Africa skipper Du Plessis made the switch to the Challengers after leading the Chennai Super Kings to glory last year.

Du Plessis mustered an impressive 88 off just 57 balls alongside Virat Kohli (41), who he replaced as captain, as the 37-year-old made his mark on his new side in emphatic fashion.

That partnership generated 118 runs from 61 balls, while fellow veteran Dinesh Karthik added 32 off just 14 deliveries as the three-time runners-up concluded on 205-6 from their 20-over allocation.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa (43) and Mayank Agarwal (32) led the Kings’ response as they chased the target of 206.

Their momentum stalled at the start of the 14th over; Mohammed Siraj dismissing Rajapaksa before Rajangad Bawa was trapped in front for a duck with the following ball.

Akash Deep claimed Liam Livingstone (19) soon after but a late surge from Odean Smith, who managed 25 off only eight balls, and Shahrukh Khan (24) saw the Kings over the line with an over to spare.

Fantastic Faf

Du Plessis hit 633 runs last season – a tally only bettered by Ruturaj Gaikwad (635) – as he inspired the Super Kings to a fourth IPL title.

The veteran began this campaign in the same vein, although his 10 boundaries (seven sixes, three fours) came in a losing cause for the Challengers.

Late surge stuns Challengers

Du Plessis' side must have thought they had contained their opponents after claiming three wickets in the space of two overs.

But Smith and Shahrukh had other ideas as their partnership brought 52 runs from 25 deliveries – including 38 in the final two overs – to complete a remarkable chase down.

Virat Kohli feels "much more relaxed" without the responsibility of being captain ahead of Royal Challengers Bangalore's opening game against Punjab Kings on Sunday.

Kohli relinquished the captaincy at the end of the 2021 IPL and Faf du Plessis has been charged with the task of replacing him.

The former India skipper is in no doubt it was a wise decision to step down from a role he had held since 2013.

He told RCB's official website: "It's a good change; I'm much more relaxed.

"The same excitement of coming to practice and just focusing on my skills and what I need to do as a batter, looking forward to these sessions is something that I used to experience very regularly before.

"Not that you don't focus on it, but somewhere when you have other responsibilities, that tends to kind of take a back seat, and over a period of time when you do it over and over again, and your mind is only running in one direction, then you can tend to lose that joy to come and practice.

"For me, that's always been the essence of playing cricket and something that I've always wanted for it to be alive within me. And I certainly feel that joy of purely coming here and hitting the ball again."

Kohli says he can see things from a different perspective without being captain, but will still be a leader.

He said: "I see it from a very different point of view. When you take a decision like this, a lot of people go, 'One should look at things from a point of responsibility and you have to take responsibility'. 

"And people don't understand that if you as a player cannot be the best version of yourself on the field, then that responsibility for me personally as a player means nothing."

Kohli added: "You can still be a leader within the team, drive the team forward towards success and winning trophies and titles, but I take a lot of pride in contributing for the team.

"If something, I feel, is pushing that joy down, that fun factor of just playing cricket, and just looking forward to doing something special on the field.

"If anything is coming in between that, and having the knowledge that you do have people who have able minds to be able to take the team forward, then I think it’s a wise thing for anyone to create some space for themselves.

"Just take a deep breath and restructure things and say, 'Hold on, I might not have looked at a lot of things that I need to work on, and here's a chance for me to restructure, rethink about what I want to do', and just find things to improve, find a little bit at practice something that you look forward to. That is something I’ve experienced in this phase."

Ravindra Jadeja took up the mantle for India as his unbeaten 175 guided Rohit Sharma's side into a commanding position on day two of the first Test against Sri Lanka.

Rishabh Pant fell short of a century on day one in Mohali, but day two also belonged to the hosts, who were 446 runs ahead at stumps on Saturday.

Jadeja resumed on 45, yet the world's second-best Test batsman had ticked over 100 by the time lunch arrived, with India at 468-7 after ending day one on 357-6.

Ravichandran Ashwin reached 61 from 82 deliveries, with his stand including eight fours, before falling to Suranga Lakmal (2-90) in the first session.

Jayant Yadav was dismissed for two shortly after lunch, but Jadeja went on the offensive, putting on a century stand for the ninth-wicket alongside Mohammed Shami (20 not out) before Sharma declared on 574-8.

Virat Kohli, playing in his 100th Test, received a guard of honour from his team-mates as India headed out to field, though Sharma's hosts were made to wait for a breakthrough as Sri Lanka's openers started in solid fashion after tea.

That breakthrough came in the 19th over when Ashwin trapped Lahiru Thirimanne leg before wicket. The opener sent it upstairs, but the review merely confirmed the decision.

Dimuth Karunaratne (28) followed soon after, again unsuccessfully reviewing for an lbw decision, albeit this time on umpire's call.

Jasprit Bumrah thought he had bowled Pathum Nissanka, only to have overstepped his mark, but he got his wicket when Angelo Mathews was given out lbw, with the review again confirming umpire's call.

Dhananjaya de Silva also went lbw, attempting an unwise sweep from Ashwin as India capped off a fine day.

Sri Lanka's review misfortune

Sri Lanka fell foul of an umpire's call twice, so it would be harsh to say they wasted their reviews on trying to overturn the dismissals of Karunaratne and Mathews.

De Silva did not even attempt to get a reprieve from the technology, though Charith Asalanka did use one wisely to avoid being given out late on to Jadeja.

Jadeja stakes his claim

India's Jadeja is arguably the best all-rounder in world cricket at the moment, and he proved his quality with his exceptional knock, which included three sixes and 17 fours.

His 175 is a new personal high in Test cricket for the 33-year-old and came at a strike rate of 76.75. It might just have put this match beyond the tourists, too.

Rishabh Pant fell agonisingly short of a century and Virat Kohli missed out on a hundred on day one of his 100th Test, but India are on top against Sri Lanka in Mohali.

Kohli looked in good touch in his landmark match – and the first since Rohit Sharma replaced him as Test captain – before he was bowled by Lasith Embuldeniya for 45.

Hanuma Vihari made a composed 58 after being selected to come in at number three, but it was Pant who took centre stage following Kohli's departure with a typically explosive innings.

The wicketkeeper-batsman smashed 96 off 97 balls, but failed to reach three figures as he was bowled by Suranga Lakmal late in an opening day of the series that ended with India on 357-6.

Rohit started his reign by winning the toss and put on 52 in an opening stand with Mayank Agarwal before the new skipper fell to Lahiru Kumara for 29.

Agarwal (33) was also sent on his way before lunch, trapped leg before by Embuldeniya (2-107), and Kohli struck five boundaries before losing his off stump to the spinner to end a stand of 90 with Vihari.

With Cheteshwar Pujara dropped along with Ajinkya Rahane, the elegant Vihari set about trying to establish himself in the side with a half-century before playing on to a delivery from Fernando.

Pant produced the fireworks in a swashbuckling knock to raise the run-rate, putting on 104 for the sixth wicket with Ravindra Jadeja (45 not out) on a tough day for Sri Lanka.

The tourists were lifted late on, though, when was cleaned up through the gate by Lakmal and kicked the ground as he trudged off in fury.

 

Pant pummels Sri Lanka

A fifth Test century was there for the taking for Pant after Pant dispatched the Sri Lanka attack to all parts.

The destructive left-hander shifted through the gears after bringing up his half-century, launching Embuldeniya for back-to-back sixes as he took 22 off an over from the spinner.

Pant had cleared the rope four times and hit another nine boundaries until he fell so close to three figures.

 

Kohli joins 8,000 club but hundred remains elusive

Former captain Kohli strode to the crease with an air expectation on such a big occasion for him.

That was building as he ticked along nicely, scoring the 38 runs he needed to reach the 8,000-mark in the longest format.

There was to be no first Test century since November 2019, though, as Embuldeniya failed to read the script.

Virat Kohli says it feels "surreal" that he will play his 100th Test for India when they face Sri Lanka at the start of a new era on Friday.

Kohli will become the 12th man to make a century of appearances for India in the longest format when he features at the PCA Stadium in Mohali.

The 33-year-old's landmark Test will be his first since he stepped down as captain and was replaced by Rohit Sharma.

Kohli brought his long reign to an end following a 2-1 series defeat in South Africa, where he was unable to end a wait for a Test century that stretches back to November 2019.

It would be fitting if the former skipper reaches three figures in his 100th Test, an achievement he did not believe would be possible.

Kohli said in an interview with BCCI.tv: "It feels surreal. I never imagined I would play 100 Tests for India. There was a time where I remember I had told myself I will do anything possible to play for India.

"Nothing could demotivate or distract me anymore. I was completely focused on getting to the top and playing for a long period. Things unfolded in a way that the journey kept on going.

"Life is unpredictable in many beautiful ways and I don't think we should put any restrictions on life in terms of how many amazing moments you can witness in the future.

"You have no idea what the future holds. It is best not to panic or get de-motivated by what might not happen because my career, my life, is an example of what is possible."

Kohli added: "I hear that crowds have been allowed as well. It's going to be a special, special morning. There will be some butterflies, I won't lie.

"There have to be butterflies till the last game you play for India."

India are unbeaten in eight Tests against Sri Lanka, a run stretching back to August 2015.

Strong favourites India have only lost one of their past 20 home Tests, that coming against England in February last year.

Dropped Pujara and Rahane leave 'big shoes to fill'

There was no place for batting stalwarts Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane in the India squad.

Yet new skipper Rohit says we have not seen the last of the experienced duo on the international stage, and it is down to the players who are given the nod to replace them to grasp their chance.

Rohit said: "Those are big shoes to fill. Never easy for the guys who come in. Even I don't know who is going to come in. You have to wait until tomorrow morning. But yeah, what Pujara and Rahane have done for this team, you can't put it in words.

"All these years of hard work, playing 80-90-odd Test matches, all those overseas Test victories, India getting to number one in the Test format, these guys helped us throughout and played a big part in that. There is no way they are not being looked at in the future. They will definitely be part of our plans in the future. Like the selectors also said, it is just for now that we didn't consider them. There is no guarantee, nothing written about them that they will not be considered for future series."

 

Karunaratne relishing the challenge

Sri Lanka are sitting pretty at the top of the World Test Championship table with two wins out of two.

They whitewashed West Indies 2-0 after beating Bangladesh 1-0, and although it would be a big upset if the tourists come out on top in India, Dimuth Karunaratne is relishing the challenge.

He said: "Our plans, those are secrets. We are not supposed to tell that to the press. But we do have some plans.

"We do know some youngsters are playing like [Shreyas] Iyer, Shubman Gill, those are the guys who are supposed to fill the places of Rahane and Pujara. So, we have some plans and will try to execute in the Test match as well."

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