Virat Kohli India
India skipper Virat Kohli will know the importance of getting his team balance right for the Test series against Sri LankaReuters

Rohit Sharma at No.3 is one of the major talking points heading into the Sri Lanka vs India Test series, starting on Wednesday.

As good as Rohit might be in the limited overs formats, there is little doubt that he has flattered to deceive in Test match cricket. So, the route that Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri have seemingly taken is to put Rohit in such a position where he will either succeed or fail – there will be no room for "Oh I didn't get enough opportunities" excuses.

Rohit is also mature enough now to know that he can get only so many opportunities. A highly-talented batsman he might be, but talent can take you only so far, and the most important aspect in Test match cricket is that ability to guts it out, to see off a good spell, to show the mental strength to fight through, even when you are not batting at your best.

If Rohit can show those qualities in Sri Lanka, India will have a gem that is nearing its high-grade polish; if not, there is Cheteshwar Pujara and KL Rahul waiting in the wings.

On paper, India have a pretty strong, if still-not-entirely-convincing batting lineup, a lineup that should have no problems in negotiating the Sri Lanka bowlers.

But then on paper and on-field performances don't go together all the time, and it will be up to Kohli, who is in need of runs himself, to get the best out of his batsmen in this crucial tour.

Murali Vijay looks settled as the opener, while Shikhar Dhawan always seems to do well in sub-continental conditions. In Rohit, Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, India have three seriously talented batsmen, who can score big hundreds easy as pie.

With Kohli expected to go with five bowlers, there will be pressure on Wriddhiman Saha to perform with the bat at No.6. If he does, the Bengal man should lock-in his place as Dhoni's long-term replacement for the wicketkeeping position in Test cricket.

Much of India's success on this tour will depend on the bowlers. With Kohli expected to go with three fast bowlers and two spinners (one will definitely be R Ashwin), the India skipper will have enough options to play around with.

If Ishant Sharma, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (one of those four will sit out) get those early breakthroughs, it will decrease the pressure considerably on Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra.

Sri Lanka are also a team in transition, having lost Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan, with Kumar Sangakkara set to follow suit after the second Test in Colombo.

Their batsmen did not fare too well against Pakistan in the previous series, a series which they lost, with the bowlers also not coming to the fore often enough. Uncapped Vishwa Fernando has found a place in the Test squad for Sri Lanka, after Shaminda Eranga and Suranga Lakmal were ruled out through injury.

India will, therefore, sense an opportunity to finally break the 22-year wait for a Test series victory on Sri Lankan soil.

Squads: India: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha, R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (capt), Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kumar Sangakkara, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Perera, Jehan Mubarak, Dinesh Chandimal, Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Tharindu Kaushal, Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Pradeep, Dushmantha Chameera, Vishwa Fernando.

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