WIcket! Opener Abhinav Mukund departs early, after scoring just 12 runs. Cheteshwar Pujara is the new man in at number three.
Galle: Virat Kohli has won the toss and elected to bat in the first Test against Rangana Herath-led Sri Lankan side here on Wednesday.
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.
For Sri Lanka, Danushka Gunathilaka is making his Test debut.
India return to a venue where they lost their last Test outside India as Virat Kohli and Co take on Rangana Herath-led Sri Lanka side on Day 1 of the first Test here on Wednesday.
India will have a few things to take care at the top as their regular openers – KL Rahul and Murali Vijay are no longer in contention for the opening Test and the entire series respectively.
While India have had their fitness concerns, Sri Lanka too will be without their newly-appointed Test skipper Dinesh Chandimal after he was ruled out of the first Test due to pneumonia.
The team has also gone through a big leadership change as Angelo Mathews decided to step down from captaincy following ICC Champions Trophy and Graham Ford ended his coaching stint with the Island side.
While Shikhar Dhawan and Abhinav Mukund are favourites to take up the opening slots, it will be interesting to see whether Indian think tank picks Rohit Sharma, who opens the innings in ODIs and T20s, ahead of one of the two left-handers.
India’s middle order looks settled with the presence of Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Wriddhiman Saha with the likes of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja to add depth to the batting. While Kohli, in his pre-match conference hinted that Hardik Pandya may make his Test debut, India may also go ahead with three-spin attack by including Kuldeep Yadav in the team.
While India’s preparation for the series was dominated by the coach saga, the team has finally got the man – Ravi Shastri – who played a key role, off the field, to turn around India’s fortune in the last Sri Lankan series.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund.
Sri Lanka: Rangana Herath (captain), Upul Tharanga, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Asela Gunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella (wicketkeeper), Dhananjaya de Silva, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Malinda Pushpakumara, Nuwan Pradeep.
Match starts at: 10 am.