AFP
AFP

India gear up to play Test cricket after a long period of white-ball cricket. Familiar foes wait in the form of Sri Lanka. The Virat Kohli-led side thrashed the Lankan Lions 3-0 in Tests in July and August (and went on to sweep the tour 9-0). They will now look to repeat the act at home. Meanwhile, Dinesh Chandimal and co. are coming off an astounding 2-0 Test series win over Pakistan, which makes this contest an intense one.

Let us read into what all battles one will have to win, to punch the opening salvo of the 3-Test series.

Virat Kohli vs Dinesh Chandimal: Tests are won on the field as much as off it. The mindset is an important part of preparation before series. For Team India, it has became a regularity under Kohli, where winning is more of a habit than a desire.

In this battle of cricketing acumen, Kohli s shrewd mind will be up against Chandimal s calmness. While Kohli has been sublime form with bat, Chandimal has shown in the past that he has the ability to turn a Test on its head. Chandimal will also have a role to play behind the stumps.

Ravichandran Ashwin vs Rangana Herath: In the upcoming Test series, one will witness two of the greatest exponents of spin bowling Ashwin and Herath in action. Ashwin, an unstoppable force (especially on Indian soil), will be engaged against Herath, who will look to script a new tale on Indian shores.

While Ashwin clearly has the superior record in India, he has not had the best of times for Tamil Nadu in the ongoing Ranji Trophy. Herath, on the other hand, was the chief architect in Sri Lanka s 2-0 win over Pakistan.

Cheteshwar Pujara vs Dimuth Karunaratne: Pujara is back to plundering mammoth hundreds in Ranji Trophy. In other words, he is doing what he does best: his last two innings have amounted to 182 and 204 in last two outings. Karunaratne, on the other hand, will hold the key to Sri Lanka s success. Karunaratne was a thorn in India s flesh in the Test series in Sri Lanka. His last three innings have yielded scores of 50, 196 and 93.

Ravindra Jadeja vs Angelo Mathews: Competition between Jadeja and Mathews may very well decide the outcome of the Test series. Jadeja will also be keen to seal the lead spinner s slot, since India are likely to play one spinner in the upcoming tour of South Africa.

Mathews, meanwhile will look to regain his lost mojo with bat. It is time he lives up to the high standards he had set in his days as captain of Sri Lanka.

Cricket vs witchcraft: Chandimal has allegedly been focusing more on hocus-pocus to gain upper hand on his opponents. However, India have charms of a different sort up their sleeves