Pujara has been consistent with runs © Getty Images
Pujara has been consistent with runs © Getty Images

Dinesh Chandimal, Sri Lanka’s skipper, has said the series is not yet over for him. However, a victory can only hand them some pride but not the series, as Virat Kohli’s rampant India have already pocketed it 2-0 straight. Sri Lanka, however, have put up some inspiring performances, but they failed to play as a cohesive unit. As the teams face for the third and final time in the Test series, here are a few key battles that will keep us engaged. India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Preview and likely XI: Pride, history, and Chinaman bowlers

Shikhar Dhawan vs Dilruwan Perera: Dhawan’s Sri Lanka tour started off with a brilliant 190 in the first Test. Since the stunning knock, he has batted twice and, on both occasions, Dilruwan Perera dismissed him below 50, dismissing the destructive Indian opener at 19 in the second innings of first Test and at 35 in the second Test. If Sri Lanka are to end the series on a high, Perera will have to get the better of Dhawan.

Dimuth Karunaratne vs Mohammed Shami: Though injury prone, Mohammed Shami is one of India’s most talented pacers in recent times. He is that kind of a bowler who can move the ball even in unfavourable conditions. Karunaratne, opening the innings, will face a lot of Shami when he will bowl with the new ball. Given Karunaratne is the potential thorn in India’s flesh, Shami will be in demand.

Cheteshwar Pujara vs spinners: Cheteshwar Pujara relishes playing spinners and as he scored 153 and 133 on this tour, the Sri Lankan spinners did not have much to do than stand and admire the shots. In the third Test, Sri Lanka’s spin contingent will lack the majority of their experience with Rangana Herath not present, and it will get harder for the spinners to combat an in-form Pujara.

Niroshan Dickwella vs Ravichandran Ashwin: Over the years, Dickwella has grown to become Sri Lanka’s most viable option as the wicketkeeper-batsman. His batting reflects the skills, revealing that he is one of the potent batsmen to bat with the tail-enders and anchor the innings. But when Ashwin is the bowler, that too in Sri Lanka, the challenge multiplies significantly. Ashwin has dismissed him twice on the tour, although Dickwella will not want to increase the tally.