India on top against SL o Day 1 at stumps

India vs Sri Lanka

The last over before lunch underlined India's effortless dominance, KL Rahul cutting and driving Dilruwan Perera, Sri Lanka's most experienced bowler, for two nearly dismissive boundaries.

Before the start of day's play, legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar lavished praise on India opener KL Rahul.

Pandya set a new India Test record when he took 26 runs off the first five balls of a MalindaPushpakumara over, eclipsing the previous record of 24 set by Sandeep Patil in 1982 and equalled by legendary allrounder Kapil Dev in 1990.

Rahul joined an elite list when he reached the half-century mark against Sri Lanka on the first day of the third Test match at Pallekele. Rahul, who survived a dropped catch on 28, brought up his seventh consecutive Test 50 with a double off pacer Lahiru Kumara. But then he played away from a Sandakan delivery and the ball turned to take a healthy edge and fly to first slip as a regulation catch. It was Pandya's maiden Test century.

With the series already won, the Kohli-led India will aim to continue their dominance over Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka are willing to try just about anything to win.

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India's Hardik Pandya gestures towards team's dressing room as he celebrates scoring a century during the second day's play of their third cricket test match against Sri Lanka in Pallekele, Sri Lanka, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. Dhawan was going at a better than a run a ball.

Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal then rotated his spinners in the second session and India lost three wickets in just 11 overs to give the hosts a foothold in the game.

Both of them had half-lives given to them by Sri Lanka, but apart from that odd chance, they were thoroughly in control, with the home team's bowling attack struggling to cope with the onslaught, particularly from the blade of Dhawan. He also got rid of Dhawan (119) soon after.

Malinda Pushpakumara was the pick of the bowlers in the post-luch session, sending both the openers back. Sandakan dismissed Pujara for a paltry 8 as he nicked one to Mathews at slip to get Sandakan his first wicket. Though Dilruwan Perera struggled and was expensive by Test standards, Pushpakumara and Sandakan received plenty of assistance from the dry, grassless pitch. While Axar Patel is picked in the Indian squad as Jadeja's replacement, it is likely that chinaman Kuldeep Yadav will accompany Ravichandran Ashwin as the two will take care of India's spin-bowling department.

One would be excused for wondering why India's first eleven is even bothering to put themselves through this worldwide net practice session.

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