India will be touring Sri Lanka later this month to play three Tests, five One-Day Internationals and one Twenty20 International, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced. The 43-day tour begins with a Test match in Galle from July 26.
The next two Tests will be played at the SSC in Colombo and Kandy respectively. While Dambulla will host the first ODI on August 20, the teams will return to Kandy for the next two ODIs before travelling back to Colombo where the final two ODIs and the lone T20I will be played at the R. Premadasa Stadium.
The most recent clash involving the two sides came in the Champions Trophy where Sri Lanka won by seven wickets while chasing 322. Despite playing at home, Sri Lanka have a daunting task ahead of them in the Test arena where they are ranked seventh in the world. India are the top-ranked team in the format following a successful home season where they beat New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia. India also won the Test series in Sri Lanka in 2015 by a 2-1 margin.
Rohit, Rahul return for Lanka Tests
The Indian selectors brought back Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul for the Lanka tour. Rohit, whose last Test was against New Zealand in October last year, didn't feature in the Tests against England, Bangladesh and Australia during the home season. He underwent surgery after injuring his thigh during the One-Day International series against New Zealand and had not played competitive cricket for four months. He hasn't played a First-Class game since his recovery but took part in the Indian Premier League and made a comeback into the national side for the Champions Trophy, ending with more than 300 runs in the tournament. The selectors rested the Mumbai batsman for the West Indies tour in order to keep him fresh.
KL Rahul, who had a run of six fifties in seven innings in the Australia series, is also back in the team having recuperated from the injury that ruled him out of the Indian Premier League, the Champions Trophy and the West Indies series. He will slot in at the top of the order beside Murali Vijay.
Karun Nair, who became just the second Indian batsman in Tests to register a triple century during the England series, has been dropped from the squad. Nair hasn't been amongst the runs since his epic knock in Chennai last year and was chosen as the skipper of India A for the series in South Africa. Jayant Yadav, who was present in the Indian squad for the Australian series, has also been dropped. The offspinner will also be on the flight to South Africa with the A squad. Shreyas Iyer, who was called in as a backup for skipper Virat Kohli for the final Test against Australia, doesn't feature in the strong 16-man contingent.
Allrounder Hardik Pandya, who was left out for the final two Tests against Australia with a shoulder injury, is back in the squad, and so is Tamil Nadu opener Abhinav Mukund. A three-man strong spin attack has been chosen for the helpful conditions in Sri Lanka, with Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav finding a slot alongside Ravis, Ashwin and Jadeja. The fast bowling line-up retains the same look with Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma named alongside Mohammed Shami.
India will start their tour on July 26 in Galle before playing the next two Tests in Colombo and Kandy. The three-match series will be followed by five ODIs and one T20 International.
Squad: Virat Kohli (C), Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund.