PALLEKELE, Sri Lanka (AP) — Openers Lokesh Rahul and Shikar Dhawan have given India a brisk start in the third and final test against Sri Lanka, reaching 134 without loss at lunch on the opening day Saturday.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the toss for a third time in the series and elected to bat first, a strategy that has proved successful for him in the series.
Rahul was unbeaten on 67 at the interval, having faced 97 deliveries and hitting six boundaries while Dhawan showed his usual aggression with a 66-ball, 64 not out with nine boundaries.
India has already secured the series 2-0 with two big wins in the previous two tests and looks for a series whitewash.
The visitors brought in left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav in place of Ravindra Jadeja, who was player of the match in the last game but has been suspended for the match by International Cricket Council on disciplinary grounds.
Sri Lanka's ace spin bowler Rangana Herath has been rested but the hosts have fielded three spin bowlers in offspinner Dilruwan Perera, left-arm wrist spinner Lakshan Sandakan and left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara.
Seamer Vishwa Fernando was brought in for injured Nuwan Pradeep, who partners Lahiru Kumara in seam bowling.