Rohit Sharma fell for 29 in his first knock as India’s test captain as the hosts lost both opening batters before the lunch break against Sri Lanka on the opening day of the first test at Mohali today.
Opting to bat after winning the toss, India reached 109 for two at the first interval with Mayank Agarwal also dismissed leg before for 33 to left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya.
Rohit, who replaced Virat Kohli as India’s test captain, hit six fours in his 28-ball innings and added 52 for the opening stand with Agarwal before finding the deep fine leg fielder with a hook shot off fast bowler Lahiru Kumara.
India’s batting mainstay Kohli, who stepped down as skipper after the 2-1 defeat in South Africa in the team’s previous series, is playing his 100th test match and was unbeaten on 15 at the break.
The crowd in the Indian city of Mohali cheered as Kohli walked out to bat after the fall of Agarwal’s wicket and applauded every run that the right-handed batter scored.
The 33-year-old was also felicitated by the home board before the start of play with batting great and current India coach Rahul Dravid handing him a commemorative cap and a memento in the presence of his Bollywood actress wife Anushka Sharma.
India drafted in batters Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer into the side, replacing the experienced duo of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane who were dropped for inconsistent performances.
Vihari, batting at the number three spot left vacant by Pujara’s exclusion, looked solid at the crease and was unbeaten on 30 with Kohli.
The second and final test will be played in Bengaluru from March 12 under lights.