Relentless Nuwan Pradeep and the other talking points as India take control on day two of the first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle

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Nuwan Pradeep showed his class with the ball.

The Indians had the Sri Lankans rocking at 154 for the loss of five wickets at the end of play on day two of the first Test between the two neighbours at Galle.

Earlier, Virat Kohli’s men had amassed a huge first innings total of 600 runs courtesy of a quick-fire half century from debutant Hardik Pandya.

We take a look at three key talking points from an eventful day two – read the day’s full report, here.

NUWAN PRADEEP’S LONE TOIL

Shikhar Dhawan’s 190 runs on his Test return along with an unbeaten century from Cheteshwar Pujara had pulverized the Sri Lankan bowling attack on day one save one Nuwan Pradeep.

The 30-year-old seamer had toiled relentlessly on a flat and placid Galle pitch to claim the three Indian wickets to fall on day one.

He continued his one man retort to the Indian batting line-up on day two and had a well set Pujara caught behind off a peach of a delivery outside off stump in the eighth over of the day.

Pradeep made good use of the short delivery to remove Ravichandran Ashwin and sent Ravindra Jadeja’s middle stump on a cart-roll with a deathly accurate yorker.

The set-up for Jadeja’s wicket was a work of beauty with Pradeep pegging the Indian all-rounder back with a wicked bouncer in the previous delivery.

Pradeep toiled relentlessly for his first Test five-for.

Pradeep toiled relentlessly for his first Test five-for.

A first Test five-for was just reward for the pacer’s toil who finished with figures of 6/132 off his 31 overs.

PANDYA HITS HALF-CENTURY IN STYLE

The all-rounder was a surprise pick in the playing eleven given his gung-ho reputation in the shorter formats of the game. That did not deter the 23-year-old who walked in to bat at number eight after the dismissal of Wriddhiman Saha.

He could only watch from the other end as Pradeep removed Ashwin and Jadeja in quick succession to leave India at 518 for the loss of eight wickets.

Pandya then took control of the situation and counter-attacked the Sri Lankan bowlers in blistering fashion. Number 10 Mohammed Shami provided excellent support at the other end as Pandya hit three massive sixes and five boundaries to claim his maiden Test half century.

Pandya was in full flow during his quick-fire half century on debut/

Pandya was in full flow during his quick-fire half century on debut.

When the bowlers bowled short, the debutant pulled them over square and when they bowled full he thumped them down the ground. In the end he was undone going for a six too many but not before he had helped India reach the daunting 600 mark.

ABHINAV MUKUND’S ACROBATICS AT SILLY POINT

The Chennai-born opener may have failed to make the most of the excellent batting conditions on offer falling cheaply on 12 to Pradeep on day one. He more than made up for it though in the field as the Sri Lankans began their reply to India’s 600.

Fielding at silly point is never one of the more pleasant experiences of cricket and is usually reserved for the most inexperienced member of the squad.

Mukund though, made the position his own in a live-wire display highlighted by his sharp reflexes and agility. Upul Tharanga was looking extremely dangerous with his fluent cover drives and square cuts as he progressed to a relatively quick 64 runs.

The stylish left hander came down the track threateningly to an Ashwin delivery but the dip on the ball forced him to change his shot and offer a gentle push to silly point.

Mukund stooped low to gather the ball immediately and send an underarm throw back to Saha who removed the bails swiftly. It looked like Tharanga had made it back home comfortably but the third umpire review showed that his bat had bounced off in the air at the very moment the bails came off.

Mukund's swift work at silly point undid the good work done by Tharanaga

Mukund’s swift work at silly point undid the good work done by Tharanaga

Mukund was not done though and five overs later he pulled off an incredible one handed stunner to send back Sri Lanka’s wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella after the batsman poked lazily at an Ashwin delivery.

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