At the stumps on Day one, in the third and final Test at Pallekele, the Sri Lankan bowlers picked wickets at regular intervals after India rode on quality top-order performance to post a total of 329 for six.
When stumps were drawn, wicketkeeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha was unbeaten on 13 off 38 balls while Hardik Pandya remained not out on one run off six deliveries at the other end.
At the stroke of the stumps, playing a handy knock; Ravichandran Ashwin (32 off 75) was caught brilliantly by gloveman Niroshan Dickwella after he completed a one-handed catch on the bowling of left-arm fast bowler Vishwa Fernando.
For Sri Lanka, the 30-year-old left-arm orthodox spinner Malinda Pushpakumara was the pick of the bowlers after bagging three wickets in 18 overs to concede 40 runs.
Moreover, Chinaman the 26-year-old Lakshan Sandakan bagged two and Fernando a wicket.
In 79th over, skipper Virat Kohli (42 off 84) was caught at the slip cordon after playing away from the body – to see ball taking the healthy part of the bat, before settling into the hands of Dimuth Karunaratne.
Earlier, Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to bat first on a wicket which has offered runs to the batsmen – to mount the pressure on the hosts’ bowlers early on.
The visitors’ openers in the form of Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul have set an impressive open wicket stand of 188 to tighten the grip on the very first day of the dead-rubber after scoring runs at the brisk pace.
In 39.3 overs, Rahul tried to smash the ball over the mid-on fielders head but drags the ball straight into the hands of Sri Dimuth Karunaratne.
The Karnataka-lad Rahul, who has smashed seventh consecutive fifty in Tests in order to equal the world record, scored 85 off 135 balls which included eight boundaries.
On the other side, the left-handed batsman Shikhar Dhawan, who brought up his sixth Test century and second in the ongoing series.
Dhawan was superbly caught by Sri Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal at the square-leg after scoring 119 off 123 deliveries, as Delhi-born batsman hit the ball from the middle of the bat while opting for a sweep shot.
The 31-year-old Dhawan, who has been in some kind of a form, has crunched 17 boundaries.
India lost the second wicket on 219, on the very first ball of the 48th over sent down by Pushpakumara.
The top-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, who has been a prominent figure while donning the white jersey, was dismissed cheaply by left-arm chinaman Lakshan Sandakan.
The right-handed batsman Pujara was caught by Angelo Mathews at the first slip after scoring off 33 balls.
At India’s score of 229, the visiting team lost the fourth wicket, in the form of Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane after being undone by Pushpakumra, as the ball went through between former’s bat and pad to dislodge the bails.
The right-handed batsman Rahane scored 17 off 48 balls after smashing a single boundary.
In the morning at the toss time, Kohli revealed chinaman Kuldeep Yadav has been inducted in the Playing XI after left-arm orthodox spinner Ravindra Jadeja is serving a one match-suspension.
Brief Score: India 329 for six in 90 overs – 3rd Test, Day One
Batting: Shikhar Dhawan 119 off 123, KL Rahul 85 off 135
Bowling Figures: Malinda Pushpakumara 3 for 4 in 18 overs