Dhawan half-century steers India to 115-1 at lunch - Emirates24|7

Dhawan half-century steers India to 115-1 at lunch

Pic: reuters

Shikhar Dhawan's fluent unbeaten half-century helped India overcome the early loss of Abhinav Mukund and reach 115 for one at lunch on the opening day of the first test against Sri Lanka on Wednesday.

Dhawan hit eight boundaries in his 64 not out as he raised 88 runs with the assured Cheteshwar Pujara who was batting on 37 at the Galle International Stadium.

With regular openers Murali Vijay and Lokesh Rahul indisposed, the left-handed duo of Dhawan and Mukund walked out to open the innings after skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to bat in the first match of the three-test series.

Mukund made 12 before edging an angling delivery from Nuwan Pradeep into wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella's safe gloves.

Dhawan decided to make the opportunity count and the 31-year-old had luck on his side.

Cricket - Sri Lanka v India - First Test Match - Galle, Sri Lanka - July 26, 2017 - IndiaÕs cricketers Shikhar Dhawan (L) and Cheteshwar Pujara run between wickets.Dinuka Liyanawatte

Dhawan hit Lahiru Kumara for two boundaries in three balls and was lucky not to fall in the same over when he slashed hard at the final delivery and Asela Gunaratne spilled the catch at second slip.

Gunaratne needed medical attention on the field and eventually walking off clutching his left wrist.

Dhawan took a single off Dilruwan Perera to bring up his fourth test fifty off 62 balls at a venue where he scored his last test century.

Pujara was rock solid at the other end, hitting three boundaries and remaining on course for his fifty.

India all-rounder Hardik Pandya made his test debut in the match as did Sri Lanka's Danushka Gunathilaka.

Veteran spinner Rangana Herath is leading the home side in the absence of their ailing regular skipper Dinesh Chandimal.