India put in on green pitch after rain delay

Cricket


Sri Lanka chose to bowl v India
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Sri Lanka’s hopes rest heavily on the shoulders of the veteran spinner, who has taken 36% of their wickets since January 2016

As if to continue with the “South Africa arrives early” theme, India were put in on a green pitch after a four-hour rain delay in Kolkata. Hoping to snap India out of thoughts about South Africa (if they were doing so, in the first place), Sri Lanka selected a seam-bowling allrounder to go with two specialist quicks, a combination India could have chosen had they not rested Hardik Pandya.

Instead India went in a batsman light in what can be testing conditions for the batsmen. That left room for Bhuvneshwar Kumar to slot in as the fifth bowler as the now-Test-specialist bowlers – R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav – made their way back. That meant Rohit Sharma didn’t get a chance to add to his impressive numbers in two Tests at Eden Garden. Also missing out was M Vijay, who got injured before the tour of Sri Lanka and then saw Shikhar Dhawan smash the bowlers to all parts of Sri Lanka.

This was the third time since 2006 that a side had decided to bowl after winning the toss in India. It might have been a straightforward decision to make, but the combination would not have been. In the end they decided to bench Dhananjaya de Silva and play with both Dasun Shanaka and Dilruwan Perera. Angelo Mathews came back after missing the series in the UAE.

India: 1 KL Rahul, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli (capt.), 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 7 R Ashwin, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Umesh Yadav.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Dimuth Karunaratne, 2 Sadeera Samarawickrama, 3 Lahiru Thirimanne, 4 Dinesh Chandimal (capt.), 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 7 Dasun Shanaka ,8 Dilruwan Perera, 9 Suranga Lakmal, 10 Rangana Herath, 11 Lahiru Gamage



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