Asela Gunaratne ruled out of remainder of Test series

Virat Kohli

Then, in 2015, India was looking good to win before collapsed here on just 112-runs in the first test match under Virat Kohli as a full-time captain.

A hamstring niggle had sidelined Pradeep for two weeks, but Sri Lanka had always hoped he would regain fitness before the India series. Though De Silva got a duck against India in the two-day practice match in Colombo, he had impressed in Tests in 2016, when he had highly successful series against Australia and Zimbabwe. KL Rahul and Kohli scored half-centuries while Rahane, Rohit Sharma and Dhawan retired after scoring around 40 runs each. While Dhawan fell short of his maiden double ton by 10 runs, Pujara remained unbeaten on 145 at close of play.

Fellow quick Lahiru Kumara was unlucky not to pick up a wicket when Dhawan was dropped on 31 by Asela Gunaratne at second slip, with India at 59-1.

The leg spinner's 27 wickets against India at an average of 41.62 pales in comparison to his overall Test record of 384 at an average of 27.72. Herath (0-92) finally came on to bowl in the 19th over, but the batsmen had an easy time until lunch, bringing up India's 100-mark in the 25th over. "He is a guy who is very confident of his abilities and with his processes and mental toughness, (and) he knew it was only a matter of time (before he got back into the side)", said Dhawan's mental conditioning coach Badri Narayanan. He will lead his side against India in the three-Test series.

At Stumps, both Pujara and Rahane were batting on 144* and 39* respectively.

India will bank on a bowling combine of Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami or Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pandya, R Ashwin - who will be playing his 50th Test - and Ravindra Jadeja to take 20 wickets and set the team on the road to victory.

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Veteran spinner Rangana Herath is leading the home side in the absence of their ailing regular skipper Dinesh Chandimal.

Hardik Pandya is also playing the match for India.

After India's tour of West Indies, Virat Kohli was off to a vacation in the United States of America.

But, Shikhar Dhawan and Chesteshwar Pujara dashed all their hopes and ensured that India dominated the first day's play of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.

Indian batsmen Shikhar Dhawan, right, and Cheteshwar Pujara shared a third wicket stand of 253 against Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka and Indian sub-continent: TV: Sony Ten. But the Indians had been given an early jolt when Dhawan's opening partner Abhinav Mukund edged Pradeep behind to Dickwella in the eighth over. The opening pair looks a bit unsettled with Rahul being sidelined due to fever but Abhinav Mukund is no mug with the bat.


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