Sri Lanka win toss, opt to bowl in final test against India

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews won the toss and opted to bowl in the third and final test against India at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground on Friday.

With the pitch sporting a covering of grass, Mathews said it was an easy decision for him.

"There's a lot of grass on it and will obviously do a lot for the seamers," Mathews said at the toss. "We will look to get that early advantage."

The hosts made three changes to the side that lost the second test last week with lower order batsman Jehan Mubarak and paceman Dushmantha Chameera being dropped while Kumar Sangakkara retired from international cricket.

Hard-hitting batsman Kusal Perera will be making his test debut while left-handed batsman Upul Tharanga and paceman Nuwan Pradeep were also drafted in for the deciding test of the series tied at 1-1.

India also handed a test debut to a wicketkeeper-batsman with Naman Ojha replacing Wriddhiman Saha, who was been ruled out with a hamstring injury suffered in the second match.

Cheteshwar Pujara replaced injured opener Murali Vijay in the only other change in the visiting team.

India captain Virat Kohli said he also wanted to give his bowlers an early use of the pitch.

"Probably would have bowled first as well," Kohli said. "First session is going to be the best to bowl.

"But the surface looks pretty nice and hard. (In) the last game as well when we batted first, there was something in the wicket for an hour and a half. But we countered it pretty well.

"So pretty confident with the way we are batting right now to counter that first session and get things going for us."

Sri Lanka: Kaushal Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews (captain), Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Perera, Rangana Herath, Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Pradeep, Tharindu Kaushal

India: Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Naman Ojha, Stuart Binny, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav