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Kandy Test: India opt to bat first against Sri Lanka

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It is a wicket where it is not spinning but it doesn't have bounce, so it's not easy to score runs out there.

Malinda Pushpakumara (18-2-40-3) did not have the greatest of debut Test matches at the SSC, although he did get better the more he bowled, but on day one in Kandy, the left-arm orthodox showed why he has taken bucketloads of wickets in first-class cricket.

At tea Sri Lanka were 61 for 4, and their downward slide continued in the final session as well. The final wicket of the day fell as Ashwin departed for 31 off a Vishwa Fernando delivery. Kohli and Rahane fought for a brief period before Rahane was cleaned up by Pushpakumara. The last over before lunch underlined India's effortless dominance, KL Rahul cutting and driving Dilruwan Perera, Sri Lanka's most experienced bowler, for two nearly dismissive boundaries. Nothing to do with the second century or anything. The Delhi southpaw's innings was laced with 17 boundaries. India went into lunch without the loss of a single wicket and looked to maintain a good run-rate throughout.

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Soon, Kuldeep was sent packing by left arm wrist spinner Lakshan Sandakan. The openers put up a good platform with a 188-run opening stand, but the middle order didn't capitalize on it. Skipper Kohli contributed 42 runs. In his place came Dimuth Karunaratne, who, having dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara in Colombo, now began to trouble Rahul with his wobble and lack of pace.

Rahul entered record books by becoming the first Indian to join an exclusive club of batsmen who scored the most consecutive half-centuries in Test history. But a mistimed sweep brought his innings to an end as Chandimal dived full length to his left at square leg to latch on to the ball in mid air.

Dhawan, who departed on 119, scored his second century of the series and his third overall against Sri Lanka. This is his first-ever century in Test cricket. Pujara was deceived by Sandakan, going back to a quicker, flatter one that wasn't short enough to cut.

"India has been a really good team, especially during the last two to three years".

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