25 July, Galle
The first Cricket Test between India and Sri Lanka begins at Galle tomorrow. India opener KL Rahul is down with fever and missed yesterday’s practise session in Galle, making him a doubtful starter for the series opener.
If he misses out, Shikhar Dhawan and Abhinav Mukund are likely to open for India. Beyond the opening slots, the rest of the batting order — from Cheteshwar Pujara, Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane — picks itself. Rohit Sharma is also expected to return to the Test line-up for the first time since he last played against New Zealand in Indore.
While R Ashwin is set to play his 50th Test. If Kohli does pick five bowlers, there is no doubt he will go in with an extra spinner in Kuldeep Yadav. The series also marks the second coming of Ravi Shastri at the helm of affairs.
Sri Lanka’s new Test skipper Dinesh Chandimal will be unavailable owing to pneumonia. In his absence, Rangana Herath will lead the side.
The two teams will play three Tests, Five one day Internationals and one T-20 match during the one and a half month long bilateral series.
All India Radio will broadcast ball by ball commentary of all the matches. On the first day of Galle Test tomorrow the commentary will start at 0930 Hours to till the end of day’s play which can be heard on Rajdhani and FM Gold plus RNLD channels. Commentary of the remaining four days of the Test will begin at 0950 Hours.