Sri Lanka to bowl in first India Test after rain delay

Indian groundstaff cover the pitch after play was delayed by rain at the start of the first Test between India and Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens cricket stadium in Kolkata. (Getty Images)

Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal won the toss and chose to bowl against India  after rain delayed the start of the opening Test in Kolkata on Thursday.

The visitors, who swept Pakistan 2-0 in the UAE last month, are hoping to start well in the three-match series on a green Eden Gardens pitch that is expected to assist seam bowling.

The islanders have fielded six batsmen, four bowlers and a fast-bowling all-rounder to their starting line-up. The first session was washed away due to drizzle and wet outfield.

"Lots of moisture on the wicket, lot of grass cover as well and we need to take advantage of it," said Chandimal.

"We played some good cricket in UAE. The team put their heart and soul in it and credit goes to the entire team. We are confident coming for this tour," he added.

India skipper Virat Kohli said he was not too bothered about losing the toss as the number-one ranked team wants to face challenging conditions ahead of their South Africa tour early next year.

The hosts, who hammered Sri Lanka 9-0 across all three formats from July to September, have including three pacemen and ace spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

"We want to embrace playing in conditions where we have not played a lot. Something we are excited about as a batting unit," Kohli said.

"I don't think the wicket has so many demons in it. The amount of grass cover is a factor... First two days will be challenging for the batters," he added.


India: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami

Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (wicketkeeper), Dasun Shanaka, Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Gamage

Umpires: Richard Kettleborough (ENG), Nigel Llong (ENG)

TV umpire: Joel Wilson (WIS)

Match referee: David Boon (AUS)