India vs Sri Lanka: Kohli hints at Pandya's inclusion in playing XI

Ravi Shastri was the coach when India beat Sri Lanka 2-1 away in the 2015 Test series

Ravi Shastri was the coach when India beat Sri Lanka 2-1 away in the 2015 Test series

The 30-year-old Ashwin will be one of India's key players in the match starting in Galle on Wednesday, the first of three Tests. Kohli also talked about the special bond between all team members and how the team stands together through thick and thin. Also, you need to understand, the last time we felt in the first Test that we played here (in Galle in 2015), we probably were a batsman short and the fifth bowler didn't do much in the game.

An already tough year for the Sri Lankan cricket team is about to get even harder as they host India for a three-Test series.

All of Sri Lanka celebrated their team's first Test triumph, with the government announcing a public holiday the next day.

Many still hail Sehwag's 201 as the finest exhibition of batting by a foreign player in Sri Lanka. We have come a long way from that tour. No one expected a 3-0 thrashing of Australia past year, and, like a ball leaping out a footmark, that series produced a triumphant surprise for Sri Lanka.

As for Indian team, anything less than a win would mean that Kohli's captaincy would come under enormous pressure.

Here are the five areas where India can improve before they embark on a tour away from the subcontinent.

India have since been embroiled in near chaos off the field - the governing body put under Supreme Court administration and a coach forced out by clashes with the captain - but near domination in competition: 13 Tests played, 10 won, two drawn and just one defeat.

Counterpart Herath was anxious how his young team would fare against the mighty Indians who have been beaten only once since the 2015 Galle test. "We believe our batsmen will deliver the goods when it's required".

Meanwhile, new Test skipper Dinesh Chandimal will be unavailable owing to pneumonia.

India: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Abhinav Mukund.

"I am taking it series by series and match by match", he said and about the successor, he explained: "If you take Malinda Pushpakumara's First Class career, he has taken more than 500 wickets". If they do emphasise on security in the first Test of a series, India could go in with Rohit Sharma at No. 6. "So we thought the best thing is to cover it up". The Kohli-led side is scheduled to play three-match Test series against Australia, South Africa and England until the end of 2018.

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