Hardik Pandya in line for Test debut in Galle

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Ahead of this important match, here is our India vs Sri Lanka 1st Test prediction, match preview and probable playing XI.

Dhawan had been relegated from first-choice to third-choice option after the West Indies series past year and then was dropped for the Australia series. They will back themselves in subcontinental conditions that suit their style of play.

Virat Kohli (Captain), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Abhinav Mukund, Hardik Pandya, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha (Wicketkeeper), Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav and Umesh Yadav.

Dinesh Chandimal, who was appointed Test captain following the resignation of Angelo Mathews, has not helped matters as he will miss the Test in Galle after contracting pneumonia.

The two teams will play three Tests, Five one day Internationals and one T-20 match during the one and a half month long bilateral series. As always, Tharanga and Mathews will need to step up once again and provide Sri Lanka some stability out in the middle as anchors of the innings. Sri Lanka not only recorded highest run chase on home soil but also in Asia. "I tried to make the most of it, and I am pleased". A certain Rangana Herath took seven wickets that time around.

With Murali Vijay too having failed to recover from his wrist injury, India will be forced to play both their back-up openers in Shikhar Dhawan and Abhinav Mukund. He will be looking to make the opportunity count and cement his place in the side. KL Rahul is an absentee from the squad due to a viral fever and his absence doesn't cause much of a concern owing to a strong bench strength.

That, Kohli admitted, meant India would need the extra bowling resource to share the load around and maintain attacking options all the way through.

For Rohit Sharma, he has never opened in Tests and hence asking him to open, just because he opens in the limited overs' version, is quite unfair on him.

Kohli also said that India will learn from their mistakes from the 2015 series and will apply the lessons in this series. Not that we wanted but still seeing Men In Blue in blue had become a bit monotonous and thus the onset of the first of three matches Test series here in SriLanka would be a bit more interesting.

India should comfortably win this.

The chosen 15 will be led by veteran spinner Rangana Herath who posted exceptional bowling figures in Lankan Lions' Test victory against Zimbabwe.

They lost the opening Galle Test and it was an electro-shock.

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