Keeping in mind the overcast conditions, Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to field first in the first Test against India at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
Here is what the captains said:
We will have a bowl first. We played some good cricket in UAE. The team put their heart and soul in it. From the last tour, we have made three changes. Today, we are going to 6 batters, 4 bowlers and a fast bowling all-rounder.
I don’t think the wicket has so many demons in it. The spinners will come into play from day 3 onwards. The surface does have grass but does not look that threatening. We have 5 batsmen, Saha, two all-rounders in Ashwin and Jadeja, Umesh, Bhuvi and Shami.
World number one India will enter the game as firm favourites. Having not lost a single series under Virat Kohli’s captaincy, the hosts have looked almost invincible at home and the Islanders will have to play out of their skin to get a desired result. Apart from the form, stats are also in India’s favour as Sri Lanka have never won a Test match in India in 17 attempts.
But at the same time, India cannot afford to be too complacent against a side which recently defeated Pakistan in UAE. a feat that no other team achieved. Dinesh Chandimal & Co. defeated Pakistan 2-0 to inflict the first series defeat on the hosts since they shifted base in 2009.
Here is the playing eleven of both teams:
Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal(c), Niroshan Dickwella(w), Dasun Shanaka, Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Gamage
Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami