Toss India chose to bat v Sri Lanka
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Lakshan Sandakan is one of two left-arm wristspinners playing the Pallekele Test © AFP
Virat Kohli won his third toss of the series and chose to bat once again, expecting the pitch to break up after the second day and provide increasing help to the spinners. Dinesh Chandimal, Sri Lanka’s captain, said he would have liked to bat first too. The pitch in Pallekele wore an even grass cover on the first morning, but already sported a few cracks.
India made only one change to their side, forced by the suspension of Ravindra Jadeja, with Kuldeep Yadav, the left-arm wristspinner, taking his place.
Sri Lanka played a left-arm wristspinner too, bringing in Lakshan Sandakan to replace the injured Rangana Herath. This was the first time since January 2004 – when West Indies’ Dave Mohammed and South Africa’s Paul Adams featured in Cape Town – that two specialist left-arm wristspinners have played the same Test match.
Sri Lanka made two other changes, bringing in seamers Lahiru Kumara and Vishwa Fernando for Dhananjaya de Silva and the injured Nuwan Pradeep. Having gone in with just one specialist quick and three spinners in the previous Test, their attack now contained two quicks and three spinners.
India 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 KL Rahul, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 R Ashwin, 7 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 8 Hardik Pandya, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Umesh Yadav.
Sri Lanka 1 Upul Tharanga, 2 Dimuth Karunaratne, 3 Kusal Mendis, 4 Dinesh Chandimal (capt), 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 7 Dilruwan Perera, 8 Malinda Pushpakumara, 9 Lakshan Sandakan, 10 Lahiru Kumara, 11 Vishwa Fernando.
Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
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