Second-game spinner Pushpakumara also wrote himself into the record books, with the 26 he conceded surpassing Suranga Lakmal's mark of 24 (struck by New Zealand's Brendon McCullum in 2014 at Christchurch) for the most expensive Test over in Sri Lanka's history.
Shikhar Drawn and KL proved Virat Kohli's decision of winning the toss and batting first right by adding 188 runs for the first wicket.
He put on only 10 runs with Kohli as India were left to rebuild their innings despite being in a comfortable position. Dhawan was particularly dominant, consistently maintaining a strike rate of more than a run per ball.
Dhawan was at his fluent best and barely looked in trouble apart from a reprieve he got when he was on one, as his edge went through the slip cordon off left-arm seamer Vishwa Fernando. His second in Test cricket. They came up empty handed as India showed their quality on an unpredictable pitch, ending the session on 134 for no loss. He would go on to score 20-odd more runs before holding out to a sharp catch at Mid-On by Karunaratne off of Pushpakumara, begging the question of why it took 550+ wickets in domestic cricket for him to be selected.
Following wins inside four days in Galle and Colombo, the world's top-ranked side have an unassailable 2-0 lead and the injury-hit hosts face another stiff task against Kohli's men in the finale.
Rahane was castled by Pushpakumara, the right-hander being too circumspect and offering a poor shot to a straight delivery without much deception. We were discussing that in the dressing room just today. Anything over 375 will be a real bonus as like in the first two Tests, Sri Lanka will again have to bat last. Those who are batting now (Wriddhiman Saha and Hardik Pandya) are capable of scoring big runs and it's a wicket where it is not spinning but it doesn't have bounce, so it's not easy to score runs out there even the outfield is not that quick.
However, Kohli had been reaching out to play the spinners from his crease and ended up edging the ball to first slip off Sandakan in the 79th over.
With India also picking chinaman Kuldeep Yadav in place of the suspended Ravindra Jadeja, this was the first Test match since January 2004 - when West Indies' Dave Mohammed and South Africa's Paul Adams featured in Cape Town - to include two specialist chinaman bowlers.
The former then fell immediately afterwards caught behind off Sandakan.
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