India kick-off tour with three-day match against Sri Lanka Board President's XI starting on Thursday
Colombo, Aug 5 The Indian cricket team begin their month-long tour of Sri Lanka with a three-day warm-up game against the Sri Lanka Board President's XI at the R. Premadasa Stadium here on Thursday.
India are scheduled to play three Tests in Sri Lanka. The first Test begins at Galle on August 12, followed by two matches at Colombo, starting August 20 and 28 respectively. It will be a real Test for Virat Kohli as a skipper after the retirement of M.S. Dhoni from the longer format of the game. The battle against a strong Sri Lankan side will test him both as skipper and batsman.
Seasoned leg-spinner Amit Mishra was recalled to the Indian squad for the three-Test away series. The 32-year-old Haryana tweaker, who comes in place of injured leg-spinner Karn Sharma, was named in the 15-member team picked by the Sandeep Patil-led All-India Senior Selection Committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh, who made a comeback to the team in the one-off Test against Bangladesh, was retained as the second spinner. Young Karnataka batsman K.L. Rahul, who missed the one-off Test in Bangladesh due to illness, is also in the team.
Right-armers Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Varun Aaron and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will form a four-pronged pace attack.
The Sri Lanka Board Presidents XI will be led by Lahiru Thirimmane, who has been a consistent performer. The experienced Upul Tharanga is also in the squad.
Wicketkeeper Kusal Perera and left-hand batsman Shehan Jayasuriya have been given a chance to showcase their talents. Right-arm batsman Dhananjaya de Silva, who has considerable first class experience, too has been given an opportunity to make a mark.
Indian squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Varun Aaron, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Harbhajan Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Lokesh Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha (Wicketkeeper), Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Murali Vijay and Umesh Yadav.
Sri Lanka Board President's XI squad: Lahiru Thirimanne (captain), Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Vishwa Fernando, Nisala Tharaka, Lahiru Gamage, Danushka Gunathilaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Sachith Pathirana, Kusal Perera, Kasun Rajitha, Kaushal Silva, Milinda Siriwardana, Upul Tharanga, Jeffrey Vandersay.