Belligerent Dhawan punishes hapless Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka had beaten India by 63 runs in a stunning reversal in the first Test at Galle in 2015.

Sri Lanka has a 3-1 record against India at this venue but for Kohli's men, what followed after its loss here in 2015 offers a positive clue.

Dhawan however, perished on the 190-run mark, falling short of what would have been his maiden double hundred. Dhawan's 190 came off 168 balls as he took full use of his limited-overs form.

7 India batsman to be dismissed in the 190s in Tests, including Dhawan.

At one stage, the Sri Lanka had a one-day style fielding setting for him with only four fielders in thirty-yard circle while others were on the ropes to stop the boundaries. A repeat act of the same kind will get tongues wagging after the unceremonious exit of Anil Kumble and the return of Virat Kohli's favourite, Ravi Shastri as head coach. It's not in my control, I have done everything I can to get back. His 12 fours were classy and played elegantly and ensured India won the match. The first instance was also against Sri Lanka in Kanpur in 2009.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli didn't plan on taking rankings into account, despite Sri Lanka's slide down the order.

India opener Lokesh Rahul has admitted that he is "nervous" about his Test comeback as he doesn't want to aggravate the shoulder injury he suffered earlier this year.

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Dhawan said the conditions were good for batting and revealed that the Sri Lankan spinners made things slightly easier for him by bowling on his leg-side, which is his strength.

Shikhar Dhawan last appeared in the white outfit in October 2016 against New Zealand.

Hardik Pandya is making his Test debut and accompany Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav to take care of the pace-bowling department as R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will be the two spinners in the playing XI.

The hosts will be missing newly-appointed regular Test skipper Dinesh Chandimal who has been laid low with pneumonia.

With the Indians on a roll in the Test arena in recent times leading up to their top dogs status in the format, the contest appears to be a huge mismatch against the relatively inexperienced Sri Lankans who are still struggling to replace the likes of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene since their permanent Test hiatus.

The two teams will play three Tests, Five one day Internationals and one T-20 match during the one and a half month long bilateral series.

SRI LANKA: Rangana Herath (capt), Upul Tharanga, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Asela Gunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Danushka Gunathilaka, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Malinda Pushpukumara, Nuwan Pradeep.

  • Tabitha Byrd