Pallekele Test, Ind vs SL: Dhawan, Rahul shine before Lanka fight back

Pallekele Test, Ind vs SL: Dhawan, Rahul shine before Lanka fight back

Pallekele Test, Ind vs SL: Dhawan, Rahul shine before Lanka fight back

Virat Kohli during a press meet ahead of the third India-Sri Lanka Test in Kandy yesterday.

Looking back, 329 may be a good score, but India's slip on the opening day was very un-Indian.

Electing to bat after winning the toss, India were off to a flying start, rushing to their 50 in just 55 balls as Dhawan completed his fourth half century of the series in just 45 balls.

Cheteshwar Pujara has been the rock for India this series providing the foundation for two 600 run plus first innings scores so far with a pair of hundreds. We were playing our shots and got out, it was not as if we were getting out because of the wicket or anything. "We're giving out full effort to that but we can not control the ultimate result", Chandimal said on the eve of the third and final Test here. Also, Rahul joined an elite list of batsmen who scored seven consecutive fifties in Tests. Unluckily for Dhawan, it was hit within Chandimal's range.

Pushpakumara later bowled Ajinkya Rahane for 17 to finish the day on 3-40 off 18 overs.

A win in the previous match meant, Kohli is now the only Indian captain to have won two straight Test series in Sri Lanka.

Following the Test triumph, the team has plans to rest some of the big names from the first team in the limited-over series which is about to follow.

The opening pair of Dhawan and Rahul gave India a brisk start and reached 134 without loss at lunch. But just when it looked like both the batsmen were ready to cross the three-figure mark, Rahul threw his wicket away, caught by Karunaratne at mid-on off Pushpakumara's bowling for 85. The third session yielded 94 runs.

India has won the first 2 matches of the series and clinched the trophy.

From one left-arm spinner to another, Kuldeep Yadav comes into the India XI, or at least we expect him to and brings an air of mystery to India's attack.

Malinda Pushpakumara was the pick of the bowlers in the post-luch session, sending both the openers back.

23 Tests played by Sri Lanka at a stretch with Rangana Herath in the side.

If it is consistent then it is going to be good because players will be aware about how they need to conduct themselves and it will only help the game. I'm not giving excuses. The pressure that Fernando inflicted dissipated at the other end with Kumara guilty of either pitching it full or a touch short.

While recruiting current India players has, with one or two exceptions, proved hard in recent years, Virat Kohli's declaration that he "would love" to play county cricket ahead of the 2018 tour by India to England may have signalled a change of approach.

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