New Delhi: Hardik Pandya proved his credentials as an all-format batsman by slamming his first International century, while also becoming the fastest Indian batsman to register a ton batting at number 8 or lower in terms of balls played. ( SL vs IND: 3rd Test, Day 2 – LIVE BLOG )
Team India started off proceedings with the bat rather poorly after Wriddhiman Saha departed cheaply in the morning session on the second Day of the third Test between India and Sri Lanka at Pallekele stadium.
It was Sri Lanka's pace spearhead Vishwa Fernando who removed the Indian wicket-keeper batsman but that didn't entirely derail India's bid to put a big total on board, as Kuldeep Yadav and Pandya put on a 62-run partnership for 9th wicket before the Kuldeep fell to Lakshan Sandakan. Pandya, refused to succumb to circumstances and unleashed his trademark hitting before he realised that a maiden international century isn't a distant dream.
En route to his Test hundred, the Baroda-based all-rounder slammed 26 runs to Malinda Pushpakumara and soon he took off his helmet and raised his bat as the entire Indian cricket team couldn't stop lauding the young star. Stats speak – Hardik notched up his half-century in 61 deliveries, while the next fifty runs came off just 25 deliveries. Adding to his praise, his maiden Test ton laced with eight boundaries and seven sixes all came about in a single session. Breathtaking indeed!
Pandya, after bagging his first Test 50 in the opening match against the Lankans during first innings at Galle, didn't come out to bat in 2nd innings. In Colombo, where India only batted once, Pandya made 20 runs.
As far as the Lankans' plans are concerned, they surely hurt themselves with their tactics in the first hour. A couple of seamers and spread out fields helped the Indian batsmen settle before Pandya began his onslaught.