Sri Lanka won their second toss of the series and decided to bat on what both captains reckoned was a good pitch for Test cricket, with a little bit of assistance expected for the quicks early before the spinners take over in the second innings. Sri Lanka didn’t make any changes to their XI, which meant the unimpressive Lahiru Gamage got another game and the impressive Dasun Shanaka was entrusted with the role of the fifth bowler and lower-order batsman.
India made three changes to their XI, two that could have been predicted and one forced on them. Mohammed Shami sat out with a hip niggle, making way for Ishant Sharma. M Vijay expectedly replaced Shikhar Dhawan, who is away for personal reasons. Rohit Sharma finally got some game time because India realised they could need him in South Africa; he came in for Bhuvneshwar Kumar, meaning India went in with four bowlers.
Sri Lanka 1 Dimuth Karunaratne, 2 Sadeera Samarawickrama, 3 Lahiru Thirimanne, 4 Dinesh Chandimal (capt), 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 7 Dasun Shanaka ,8 Dilruwan Perera, 9 Suranga Lakmal, Rangana Herath, 11 Lahiru Gamage
India 1 M Vijay, 2 KL Rahul, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Rohit Sharma, 7 R Ashwin, 8 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 9 Ravindra Jadeja, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Umesh Yadav.