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Sri Lanka are coming off a hard-fought win over Zimbabwe in the just concluded one-off Test AFP

Having coming off a successful marathon international cricket run at home, India Men are oozing high on confidence following the successful season. Already at the top of the table in the ICC Test Rankings, India would look to dominate and consolidate the spot as they prepare to take on hosts Sri Lanka Men in a three-Test series from Wednesday. Although India have a star-studded side and Sri Lanka are coming off a ODI series loss against Zimbabwe Men, followed by a hard-fought win over them in the one-off Test, India still cannot afford to take the hosts lightly. Being one of the top sides in international cricket, Sri Lanka still possess enough ammunition to cause major upset to the Indians. Therefore, let us have a look at the five Sri Lankan players the Indians must watch out for in the Test series. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Sri Lanka 2017 – 1st Test at Galle

Rangana Herath (captain)

India Men are aware of the challenges Herath, stand-in skipper for the opening Test, possesses. Being regarded the deadliest spinner for Sri Lanka since Muttiah Muralitharan, Herath s tremendous success with the ball has certainly allowed him to live up to the comparison. Herath was one of the most successful bowlers against India in their last Test series at home, where he claimed 15 wickets from 3 matches at an average of 31. Against India, Herath has so far claimed 27 wickets from 7 matches at 42, while his best figures are 7 for 115.

The last series was Herath s most successful series against India till date. This one could turn out to be even better. Herath is also in hunt for his 400th Test wicket, and is just short by 16 scalps, which could well be completed in this series itself. Regardless of Sri Lanka s current form, Herath must be a man to watch out: India Men have to find a counter for him. IND vs SL, 1st Test: Virat Kohli vs Nuwan Pradeep and other key battles

Upul Tharanga

Among batsmen, the one to be most watched out for is the newly-appointed limited-overs skipper, Upul Tharanga. While Tharanga has never been a great Test batsman in whites, he is in excellent nick, which may help him carve a new phase of his career. This may be the launching pad of his Test career.

Tharanga played only one Test in the 2015 series, managing to score just 4. However, this fresh series will provide him a new platform and a better opportunity to shine against the world no. 1 side. Overall, he has played just a couple of matches against India Men but averages a mere 13. Although his records against India might be bleak, he has amassed over 1,600 runs at an average of 34 including 3 centuries and 7 half-centuries. These are not excellent numbers, but one must remember that he seldom got a long rope.

Tharanga was also the second highest run-scorer against Zimbabwe in the just concluded series, which made him one of the strongest batsmen in the current Sri Lankan side. He does not have a sound Test record, but may make up for that with his terrific form.

Nuwan Pradeep

Among the fast bowlers, Pradeep is the likeliest to make an impact. His pace and skiddy bounce, along with the ability to break partnerships at regular intervals, has made him one of the watched-out pacers in the side. In 2 Tests against India he has claimed 8 wickets at an average of 28, his best figures being 5 for 114.

Pradeep had missed out the last Test series against India in 2015 as well as the just concluded Test against Zimbabwe. His numbers, 60 wickets at 43, are sub-par, but he bowls those blistering spells from time to time.

Angelo Mathews

Mathews quit captaincy following Sri Lanka Men s defeat against Zimbabwe Men in the ODIs. This means he has fewer things to worry about. He is capable of sheer destruction with the bat: he was a pain for India in 2015, having finished as the top run-scorer in the series with 339 runs from 3 Tests with an average of 57 including 2 centuries and a half-century.

He had an average outing against Zimbabwe, scoring 66. Nevertheless, his gumption and ability to take control is something the Indians should be wary of.

Kusal Mendis

Kusal has already made name for himself as a batting sensation. Although it will be his debut series against India, he has managed to score over 1,100 runs in Test cricket at 36. These are still early days, and that average will definitely go up. However, what distinguishes Mendis from most others is his ability to turn cricket matches on their head, as Australia found out to their peril.

Mendis scored 77 against Zimbabwe. This, however, will be the toughest test of his Test career so far, one that has been on the right track and highly impressive so far. He will definitely want to surpass his highest score of 194, and it cannot come at a better time than against India Men. Keeping his team s recent performances aside, it is a perfect platform for Kusal to cement his spot in the side.