Sri Lanka and India will start their three-Test series in Galle on Wednesday.
It will be the first five-day meeting between the two Asian giants in five years. They last met in the format in 2010, when India, studded with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman secured a five-wicket win to level the three-Test series 1-1.
India, suffered a massive blow ahead of the first Test when their in-form opening batsman Murli Vijay was ruled out with a hamstring injury he sustained during limited-overs tour of Zimbabwe last month, which means KL Rahul will open with Shikhar Dhawan.
Experienced Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli and promising Ajinkya Rahane will form up a strong middle-order while wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha is expected to bat at no. 6.
Kohli has indicated to play five bowlers in the series-opener and the team selection in this view will be an interesting aspect.
Most probably, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Varun Aaron will form-up a three pronged pace attack while veteran Harbhajan Singh and Ravichandran Ashwin are likely to perform spin duties.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will be hoping for a turnaround after being beaten by Pakistan in all three formats on home soil recently.
The home side’s batting-line looks balanced, in presence of the likes of Kaushal Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne and Angelo Mathews.
Their bowling attacks, however, looks largely inexperienced in absence of Shaminda Eranga, Suranga Lakmal Dushmantha Chameera, who are all recovering from injuries.
The seam attack will be spearheaded by Dhammika Prasad while Nuwan Pradeep would share the new ball with him. Tharindu Kaushal is likely to take third seamer’s slot.
Veteran spinner Rangana Herath, who was dropped for the third Test against Pakistan following a string of below-par performances, is expected to be picked up for the series-opener.
Kaushal Silva, Jehan Mubarak, Dimuth Karunaratne, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Pradeep, Dhammika Prasad, Kumar Sangakkara, Angelo Mathews (capt.), Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Upul Tharanga, Tharindu Kaushal,
Virat Kohli (capt), KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Varun Aaron, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Harbhajan Singh,Shikhar Dhawan, Umesh Yadav, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (wk),