All-rounder Hardik Pandya made his Test debut against Sri Lanka in the first Test match at the Galle International Stadium on July 26. Earlier during the pre-match press conference on July 25, Indian skipper Virat Kohli hinted that Hardik Pandya may make his debut in whites. The Vadodara all-rounder has made 17 appearances in One-Day International (ODI) scoring 289 runs at an average of 41.29 and has taken 19 wickets in the 50-over format. The 23-year-old has played 19 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) scoring 100 runs and picked up 15 wickets. Hardik Pandya received his Test cap from skipper Virat Kohli.

“We got a guy like Hardik Pandya who is a wicket-taking bowler. Every game he plays, on any surface, he has a knack of picking up wickets. He has a great chance of playing,” Virat Kohli told reporters during the press conference.

About the series, Virat Kohli said that he was confident that every player understood their responsibility and will deliver in the series. “I’m sure everyone is taking personal responsibility to plan their innings… We’ve come a long way from that tour. We believe our batsmen will deliver the goods when it’s required,” Virat added.

Meanwhile, Team India won the toss and they decided to bat first in the first Test match. Abhinav Mukund and Shikhar Dhawan are most likely to open the innings as Lokesh Rahul, who was down with viral fever and ruled out of the first Test.

Playing XI

INDIA: Shikhar Dhawan, Abhinav Mukund, C Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wridhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, M Shami, Umesh Yadav

SRILANKA: WU Tharanga, D Karunaratne, K Mendis, D Gunathilaka, A Mathews, A Gunaratne, N Dickwella, MDK Perera, R Herath, N Pradeep, L Kumara