India's finishing prowess in focus as 3rd Test vs Sri Lanka begins Sports News


As the Sri Lankan team prepared for the deciding third Test against Sri Lanka starting at Colombo's Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) ground on Friday, the uncertainty in the team following Kumar Sangakkara's retirement was evident. Such is the painful nature of transition that even formidable teams like Australia have felt it. The last time Sri Lanka played at the SSC ground, in August 2014, they defeated Pakistan to give Mahela Jayawardene a winning farewell. Back again, skipper Angelo Mathew

Aggression key Team director Ravi Shastri was confident India will play aggressively. "We’ll stick to our guns. We will play the way we have decided, like I said before the first Test. At the end of the day, the proof of the pudding is in the eating." Victory will help Kohli stamp his identity on this young team, having led in only five Tests, although there will also be pressure to deliver. Many past India captains have settled down on home turf, and thus starting with a series win in Sri Lanka will be big. Much like how the 1993 home series against England saw the emergence of Anil Kumble as a new force, Ashwin has made all the difference here. It can develop into a straight contest with left-arm Rangana Herath, who took 14 wickets when Sri Lanka beat Pakistan last year. Shastri said the captaincy change came at the right time. "It was a good decision (Dhoni stepping down) because it was clear in everyone’s mind, across the media, that this is your future captain, and let him captain in that last Test match in Australia so that all speculation is put to rest. The obvious choice was Virat, but by announcing his retirement, Dhoni made it clear 'I believe this guy is ready and he needs a run'." "Each captain has his style. You can see with Virat, he is pretty much in your face. He will play to win. And he will want to be positive all the time. There will be intent in anything he does."

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