But the struggle for Sri Lanka was that the first change bowlers in both departments - Dasun Shanaka and Dilruwan Perera, who conceded 117 miserable runs in 21 overs - weren't able to cope, allowing the Indian batsmen a release from pressure. "Obviously, we are in a strong position at the end of the day and I wanted to always contribute for the team and I am happy", Vijay told reporters.
When he regained fitness, India continued to stick with the opening pair of Rahul and Dhawan for the first Test in Kolkata.
India were 312 for two at stumps in their first innings with Pujara, on 121, and skipper Virat Kohli, on 54, batting to push the visitors out of the game.
The loose balls were nearly absent in the first hour of the day.
Forced to defend, defend and defend, Vijay looked to manufacture a shot.
Vijay's only blemish was a half-chance off Rangana Herath (0-15) in the 17th over, but the hard chance was put down at short leg by Sadeera Samarawickrama. As it turned out, a direct hit was needed, and Sadeera Samarawickrama missed from short leg. There was a scare when Vijay was beaten by Shanaka and Sri Lanka reviewed for caught behind, but replays suggested there was no nick. The hosts were 97 for one at lunch, still trailing Sri Lanka by 108 runs. He began with a plum half-volley, which got dispatched too.
Sri Lanka didn't help their chances of challenging India for the second Test in a row when they gave away lifelines to the returning opener.
There was a lot of time at India's disposal and that's why the batsmen were in no hurry but still managed to comfortably score their runs.
As the mileage grew in those legs, the intensity dipped, the run rate increased and the milestones began to arrive.
The numbers show Vijay and Pujara have an excellent rapport, but Vijay suggested it was a case of birds of a feather flocking together.
Vijay, who replaced Shikhar Dhawan in the starting lineup after the left-handed opener pulled out due to personal reasons, hit 11 fours and a six during his 221-ball knock.
Converting the start, Pujara reached his hundred with a double off the second ball of the 87th over.
Sri Lanka's only success came in the final session. He even stole a bye with the ball in the wicketkeeper's hand. South Africa's Dean Elgar and Sri Lanka's Dimuth Karunaratne were the first two to breach the 1000-run mark.