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MILESTONE TEST MATCH: Sri Lanka’s 300th; India’s Kohli’s 100th appearance

Tomorrow’s first test between Sri Lanka and India will be of historic signifance for both sides in that it will be Sri Lanka’s 300th test match while for the Indians it will be the gaze on super star batsman Virat Kohli in his 100th test match at Mohali’s Dharmasala Grounds. From a Sri Lankan standpoint, course, in that record milestone of crossing the bridge into the old wine of the country’si test span since entering the ICC fold in 1981, the historic occasion will as much kindle the relevance of realising that long elusive dream of that maiden triumph over the Indians. Translating into potentially decisive action wilk be the tall order to cracking India at its best ever given the line-up. Kohli back in business since giving up the captaincy fired up to stamp his willow record trade mark to cap a century of appearances as cricket’s super batsman.

Taking over the leadeship is the aggressive opening batsman Rohit Sharma fresh from leading the T20 team to a clean sweep. Jasprit Bumrah, who has evolved to be one of the game’s top fast bowler’s, is the vice captain while the naming of new discovery with the bat Shreyar Iyer, who filled in for the rested Kohli with an equal aplomb of a king sized deliverer by his Player of the T20 Series exploits, adds muscle to a tried and tested side where he is all set to make his test debut.

Sri Lanka led by the dependable opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne, will be up against the odds. As aired by Karunaratne on the eve of the match, he will pair with the experienced Lahiru Thirimanne in an all left-handed combination while opting for a three-pronged pace attack. Thirimanne is there on the strength of an impressive comeback of late. Kusal Mendis is back along with Niroshan Dickwella after the ban.

The presence of veteran batsman Angelo Mathews makes interesting reading as to whether he would translate himself into the magic with the bat that made him quite a match winning force. Similarly, the elevation of the left-handed new discovery in young Charith Asalanka is noteworthy.

Squads:

Sri Lanka Squad: Dimuth Karunaratne(c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Pathum Nissanka, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Niroshan Dickwella(w), Lahiru Kumara, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Embuldeniya, Praveen Jayawickrama, Dinesh Chandimal, Vishwa Fernando, Chamika Karunaratne, Jeffrey Vandersay, Dushmantha Chameera

India Squad: Rohit Sharma(c), Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shubman Gill, Umesh Yadav, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Priyank Panchal, Srikar Bharat, Saurabh Kumar

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