Third Test preview: Sri Lanka v India

Sri Lanka have been hammered by injuries and will have to do without both Nuwan Pradeep and Rangana Herath in the final test against India in Pallekele.

The stage is set for someone like Lakshan Sandakan to impress and give fans of cricket in Sri Lanka something positive to take out of the series.

Sandakan took seven wickets on his debut against Australia which was the most recent Test at the venue.

Since then he has claimed just eight wickets in the four Tests he has played in struggling to adjust to top flight cricket with opportunities hard to come by.

From one left-arm spinner to another, Kuldeep Yadav comes into the India XI, or at least we expect him to and brings an air of mystery to India’s attack.

The left-arm wrist spinner has also found opportunities in Test cricket hard to come by but impressed in his debut against Australia.

Pallekele is known as the best wicket for seamers in Sri Lanka, while that isn’t saying much Mitchell Starc showed the first morning can be challenging last year.

Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami have bowled well this series playing their part on the dry Lankan wickets and may find themselves rewarded if they get first crack at a shakey top order.

India will be confident that their in-form top order can continue to dominate the Sri Lankan bowlers, while Dusmantha Chameera will hope for some assistance as he bids to make a Test comeback.

The seamer may play his first Test since December 2016.

Cheteshwar Pujara has been the rock for India this series providing the foundation for two 600 run plus first innings scores so far with a pair of hundreds.

Sri Lanka will be hoping that Kusal Mendis can find that kind of consistency and provide them with the big runs that have been lacking from senior batsmen Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews.