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13 Agosto 2017, 02:27 | Crisanna Felipe
Hardik Pandya first caught the eye with his big sixes for Mumbai Indians in the IPL
At the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, openersShikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul provided India with the flawless start, not losing their wicket till lunch of Day One.
It was after their dismissals that the pattern of play changed, as Sri Lanka wended their way back into the contest with repeated strikes through Pushpakumara and Lakshan Sandakan, the chinaman bowler.
Earlier, Indian captain Virat Kohli won the toss and made a decision to bat first.
Kohli has a bit of a discussion with his team after the fall of the last wicket, and he decides he's going to enforce the follow-on, with the Sri Lankans still behind by 352 runs.
Courtesy Dhawan's (119) sixth Test hundred and a record 18-run opening stand with KL Rahul (85), India looked good for a score close to 400 after opting to bat.
Meanwhile, Indian skipper Virat Kohli also contributed with 42 runs.
The 26-year-old, replacing the injured Rangana Herath, also removed the risky Kohli with the right-handed batsman out for 42 after getting an edge to slip.
With India resuming at 329 for 6, Pandya and Wriddhiman Saha (16) looked to bat for time in a bid to resurrect India's floundering first innings.
Pushpakumara broke the big partnership of the two Indiaopeners, with Rahul chipping a ball to Dimuth Karunaratne, who took a nice catch on the jump at mid-on.
India did not practice on Friday, but Kohli said they are confident of taking the field on Saturday and are in a "good zone". After a brief period of uneventful play and Sri Lanka maintaining a tight line outside the off stump, Ashwin was caught behind to Fernando after scoring 31, bringing Hardik Pandya to the crease for the last two overs of the day. The innings run-rate plummeted from around five in the morning session to 2.76 after tea as it became an objective of trying to survive rather than looking to score quick runs.
Soon, Kuldeep was sent packing by left arm wrist spinner Lakshan Sandakan. Although the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane had an off day, India at stumps were 329/6.
But despite the hosts suffering huge defeats in the first two matches, Chandimal is confident of pulling one back against the world's top Test side. After having not given him the ball for the first 39 overs, skipper Dinesh Chandimal seemed to suddenly remember that, though Lanka was missing Rangana Herath, they had another left-arm spinner in Malinda Pushpakumara.
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