Pallekele Test: Dhawan, Rahul shine before Lanka fight back

India have comfortably dominated Sri Lanka in every department, netting their biggest away win in the first test, and defeating the Lankans by an innings and 53 runs in the second.

The opening pair of Dhawan and Rahul gave India a brisk start and reached 134 without loss at lunch.

"He is a great prospect", Gavaskar said and by Lunch on Day one of the third Test at Pallekele, Rahul once again proved why he is India's first choice opener. Rahul, who survived a dropped catch on 28, brought up his seventh consecutive Test 50 with a double off pacer Lahiru Kumara.

Virat Kohli (42) threatened, but was undone by Sandakan, a tossed up delivery inducing the outside edge. "Even when I made my Test debut, I had a good 8 years of first-class cricket behind me", said Dhawan.

Missing the services of premier spinner Ravindra Jadeja due to a suspension, Indian captain Virat Kohli today (11) urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to be more consistent in implementing rules pertaining to the players' code of conduct. Given that India has two quality spinners, Sri Lanka would be hoping to bowl out the visitors as early as possible.

The aggressive Dhawan latched on to short stuff from the recalled Lahiru Kumara with some exquisite cuts, while Rahul pulled expertly and drove with elegance as India got off to an ominous start.

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The dollar index fell 0.32 per cent, with the euro up 0.42 per cent to US$1.1819. The Nasdaq composite lost 18.13 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,352.33.

Resuming the day at 329/6, wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha (16), who was batting with Pandya, failed to respond to the pressure situation and was dismissed by Vishwa Fernando early. The last home worldwide season, the lower order had taken India to bigger totals. Over the course of his next six balls, Pandya went on to mangle them, taking 26 runs off them with the cleanest striking imaginable, all of it executed with the stillest of heads and the smoothest of bat-swings.

The ever dependable Pujara's discomfort at the crease came to an end as he was caught at first slip off Sandakan in the 51st over.

To put it mildly, India have all bases covered, for all conditions and pitches, while Sri Lanka won't come close to putting their best eleven on the park thanks to injuries and recurring niggles.

Herath strained his back and following the advice of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Medical Unit was deemed unavailable for selection, also considering the large workload he has undertaken in recent Tests.

Ravichandran Ashwin (31) looked compact but became leftarm seamer Vishwa Fernando's scalp at the fag end of the day.

But then Pushpakumara and Sandakan had other ideas. Mohammad Shami claimed two up front before chinaman bowler Kuldeep got in to the act with 4 for 40.

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