Kandy Test: India opt to bat first against Sri Lanka

Kandy Test: India opt to bat first against Sri Lanka

Kohli would be hoping India do not lose a wicket in the first one hour on day 2.

This was also his second hundred of the series.

India won the first two Tests emphatically and Dhawan did not appear concerned by their wobble with the bat on Saturday.

Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav was the only change for the touring side, called up as a replacement for suspended left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja. Fernando kept testing the batsmen with swing, bounce and a bit of seam, and at one point beat the No. 9 Kuldeep Yadav four times in succession - three times going past the outside edge and once past the inside edge to provoke a loud lbw appeal. His second in Test cricket.

Dhawan, who departed on 119, scored his second century of the series and his third overall against Sri Lanka.

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Earlier, it was yet another solid start from Dhawan and Rahul as they bettered the highest opening stand against Sri Lanka in away Tests, going past the 173-run stand between Manoj Prabhakar and Navjot Sidhu during the 1993 series. Over the course of his next six balls, Pandya went on to mangle them, taking 26 runs off them with the cleanest striking imaginable, all of it executed with the stillest of heads and the smoothest of bat-swings.

In the process, Pandya completed his century. But then, the Lankans showed the kind of fight with the ball they haven't shown yet in this series to pull things back brilliantly and leave the third Test in Pallekele nicely poised. I know which bowler I can target, I work on that basis. Rahul departed for 85. The pitch deteriorated quickly this session, and it will be interesting to see how it behaves for the remainder of the match. India now have two new batters at the crease, exactly what Sri Lanka would have wanted. You played so well. all the guys, whoever got out, were playing so well and never looked like getting out and one ball has your name on it and you have to get out. Kohli, on the other end, looked solid in defense as he looked to play out the overs. Asked if the team is looking forward to that record, Kohli said: "For us it's just about playing another Test match and trying to win another Test match". This was his third wicket of the innings. His resilience has been a handy feature of India's batting lineup, often making the difference between a 450 and 600 for the visitors. Remember, there is no Jadeja. The final wicket of the day fell as Ashwin departed for 31 off a Vishwa Fernando delivery.

Wriddhiman Saha (13 not out) and Hardik Pandya (1 no) will resume in Kandy on Sunday.

The hosts did not use Malinda Pushpakumara's left-arm orthodox before lunch, but tried Lakshan Sandakan's left-arm wristspin for a couple of overs. At times, the pacers received unexpected movement into the batsmen, a worrying sign for the coming days.

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