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Preview, 3rd Test: India look to extend domination over Sri Lanka

By Unnikrishnan
India under Virat Kohli eye another win

New Delhi, December 1: An infinitely superior India will be eager to carry out yet another demolition act on Sri Lanka when the two teams clash in the third and final Test here on Saturday (December 2).

After the batting debacle in the first innings of the first Test in Kolkata, Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul have enjoyed a fruitful second innings scoring of 94 and 79, respectively.

Murali Vijay, who was surprisingly kept out of playing XI for the first Test, came into the side in the second game in Dhawan's absence to score 128.

Now with Dhawan back in the squad, it is indeed a happy problem for skipper Virat Kohli, who has to choose two quality openers among three.

A bold decision could have be to drop an out-of-form Rahane from the playing XI and accommodate all three but that could be detrimental to the Indian vice-captain's confidence as he will be a vital cog for India in overseas conditions.

India are 1-0 up in the series which could have easily been 2-0 had Kohli and his men got an extra 45 minutes on the final day of the rain-curtailed first Test that ended in a draw.

Starting with three Tests against South Africa followed by the two marquee away series -- five matches against England and four against Australia at the back-end of 2018 - will define the character of Kohli as a leader and also the ability of his team.

Therefore it will be a good chance for the likes of Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravichandran Ashwin to rack up some numbers which will do a world of good to their confidence.

The pitch talk

The Feroz Shah Kotla track may not be as flat as the one at Jamtha, where India scored 610/6 declared but it also won't be a green top like the one they got at the Eden Gardens.

Squads: India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami , Vijay Shankar, Kuldeep Yadav.

Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (Captain), Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Lahiru Thirimanne, Niroshan Dickwella, Angelo Mathews, Dilruwan Perera, Jefferey Vandersay, Roshan Silva, Dashun Shanaka, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Gamage, Lakshan Sandakan, Dhananjaya de Silva.

Live: 9.30 am onwards at Star Sports 1 and 3

Live stream: Hotstar

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    Story first published: Friday, December 1, 2017, 15:30 [IST]
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