4 pm: What should have been an engrossing first day has been ruined by the rain. When, when can we learn to control the elements, I ask. Or at least find a way to play cricket in spite of the rain.
Sri Lanka had no hesitation in bowling first, and even if the wicket did not prove to be menacing as it looked, the hosts picked up a couple of early wickets – of KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane. Virat Kohli also should have been dismissed, but debutant Kusal Perera missed an easy-enough catch, with Kohli (14, 34b, 2x4) and Pujara (19, 42b, 2x4) putting on 36 runs together, before the rain came, 40 minutes before Lunch.
From there on, it never looked too likely that we would get play again, even if there were a couple of hopeful moments here and there, with the latest shower, right when the umpires were inspecting the ground, making it clear that that was all she wrote for Day 1.
India will begin Day 2, which will begin early at 9.45 pm, on 50/2 tomorrow and I will be right here giving you all the live updates. For now, though, it is ta-ta, and once more, a Happy Onam to all the Malayalis out there.
3.53 pm: The inevitable has happened, play is done folks. Day 1 is over. Sigh!
3.42 pm: Oh bugger, the rain has come back, or at least the covers are back on (which, basically means the rain will come back). Bye, bye Day 1 play, bye, bye. We saw so little of you.
3.39 pm: No news yet from the inspection. Cross your fingers and hope the umpires decide to get a couple of hours of play in.
3.30 pm: Inspection time, wonder what will come out of it.
3.02 pm: The umpires are on the field, inspecting the outfield and seeing if it is fit enough for play. Doesn't look too bad from here. But the good news is that the rain is definitely gone, for now. It looks fairly bright as well. If it stays like this, that 3.30 inspection should be positive.
2.50 pm: Nope,sorry, the umpires will inspect the ground at 3.30 pm and we should get some news after that. Rain has stopped for a while now, with the covers pretty much all off. Those menacing clouds still hover around, though.
2.45 pm: Tea has been taken (like that even remotely matters). There will be an update at around 3 pm. Hopefully, a good one.
2.30 pm: But hey, what is life without optimism. The clouds are slowly moving away I hear, so we live in hope. C'mon get those prayers out and make it work.
2.24 pm: The rain has stopped, but the clouds still hover around, and Roshan Abheysinghe certainly doesn't sound too optimistic.
2.05 pm: In case you want a recap of how the first 80 minutes of this day went, the highlights are HERE.
2.03 pm: The rain has stopped again. Hopefully it stays away now as the covers come off, slowly.
1.53 pm: And the good news is tempered down soon after. The rain is back, the overs are back and so the waiting game continues. Time is running out for this day one to get more cricket.
1.33 pm: The covers are coming off, still a bit more of a wait for play, though. Nevertheless, some good news at last.
1.21 pm: Two hours into the rain delay, we have an update from the two umpires: "We will have to wait for the rain to die down (which it has done) and then from there it is at least another hour before we can get any sort of play," says Rod Tucker. "We are guided by local knowledge. We operate all around the world, and if the groundsmen give you the heads up, you run," adds Nigel Llong on leaving the field this time around owing largely to the groundsmen running in with the covers even before the rain came.
1 pm: We are well over an hour and a half into the rain delay, and there is still no sign of play anytime soon. The drizzle is still on, and even when it does stop, hopefully it does, it will take a while for the groundsmen to get those puddles out of the covers and peel them off.
12.27 pm: Still no sign of play, I'm afraid. That rain that had stopped is back again, with the drizzle very much on. Water is making nice puddles on the covers covering the entire ground as well.
11.56 am: The rain has stopped. Clouds still very much there, though, so the covers are not coming off yet.
11.43 am: Yup, an early Lunch has been taken. India 50/2 in 15 overs, Pujara 19, Kohli 14.
11.40 am: Twenty minutes to go to Lunch, doesn't look like we will get any play by then. So, get out your Onam sadhyas out people.
11.21 am: The superfast groundsmen are covering the entire ground as the rain continues to come down, quite heavily.
11.17 am: Oh dear, the covers are coming on. Rain has stopped play. The groundsmen, seeing the clouds, ran with the covers even before the wet weather started pouring into the ground. It is raining now and it has become so dark in Colombo. Raining buckets now.
11.16 am: Spin now as Rangana Herath is given the ball. First ball single again for Pujara, to the onside, with Kohli then getting a boundary fine off a ball that was sliding down leg. Probably only hit his thigh pads, but the umpire gave the runs to the batsman. A single follows to bring India's half-century up and then Pujara sees off the over. India 50/2 in 15 overs, Pujara 19, Kohli 14.
11.12 am: Just the two slips now for Prasad. Drop and run single for Pujara brings Kohli on strike and the India captain is lucky again as an outside edge this time, is not dropped, but drops short, well short of first slip. Strange that as Kohli was playing a proper drive, it must have hit the outer edge of the outside edge of the bat. Prasad is finding it hard to believe that the ball did not carry. India 44/2 in 14 overs, Pujara 18, Kohli 9.
11.07 am: Mathews once more after the drinks break. Pujara gets a couple with a glide to third man early, before getting a single off the final ball to keep the strike. India 43/2 in 13 overs, Pujara 17, Kohli 9.
11 am: A couple of tight overs from Sri Lanka here just to apply a little bit of pressure. Prasad keeps it around off to Kohli after Pujara takes a single first ball. India 40/2 in 12 overs. Drinks.
10.56 am: Tidy over from Mathews, Kohli is now allowed to get anything away. India 39/2 in 11 overs, Pujara 13, Kohli 9.
10.52 am: India have done well so far of putting the bad balls away. Overpitched from Pradeep, and Pujara drives – not too prettily must be said – straight for a boundary to get into double figures. India 39/2 in 10 overs, Pujara 13, Kohli 9.
10.46 am: Angelo Mathews again and Pujara is happy to defend/leave. India 33/2 in 9 overs, Pujara 9, Kohli 8.
10.42 am: This is the problem with playing part-time wicketkeepers isn't it. A big inside edge from Kohli as he goes for a drive and it flies to Perera's left, who drops it. Easy enough catch with two hands, but he grasses it and to rub salt into the wounds the ball rolls onto hit the helmet, giving India five runs. That came after Kohli got a boundary with a gorgeous push through midwicket, but all that would have been for naught had Perera hung onto the catch. The final ball of the Pradeep over is the kind you normally see on a WACA wicket, not at the SSC, as it takes off from a good length alarmingly with Perera jumping up to gather. India 33/2 in 8 overs, Pujara 9, Kohli 8.
10.38 am: Prasad is taken off and Mathews is in. He will relish bowling in these conditions. Not the first ball, though, as a half volley on leg is flicked easily by Pujara for a boundary to square-leg, his first one of the match. A couple of balls later, gets that in-dipper working for him and Pujara is lucky as it hits his back thigh pad with the umpire thinking the ball was too high and therefore saving him from being given out lbw. India 24/2 in 7 overs, Pujara 9, Kohli 4.
10.33 am: Oh gee, India are living dangerously. A back of a length ball from Pradeep angled in before holding its line finds the outside edge of Pujara, but the ball falls just short of Karunaratne at third slip. He took his bottom hand off and that might have helped. Lucky escape, nonetheless, but par for the course for the openers, it is just about taking advantage of them now. Another single taken by Pujara, with a push to the onside, and that prevents the over from being a maiden. India 20/2 in 6 overs.
10.29 am: A decent over from Pradeep, with Kohli defending well enough early and then taking a three with a punch through the offside. Pujara picks up a single soon after as well. The Rahane wicket just shows how much batting is based on concentration. He looked determined to play straight and was timing the ball sweetly, but one lapse of concentration and he is gone. India 19/2 in 5 overs, Pujara 4, Kohli 4.
10.25 am: A very similar situation to the start of the second Test match this, with one opener (this time Rahul) and Rahane falling early, putting the pressure on skipper Kohli and the other opener (this time Pujara). Kohli gets off the mark with a push to the offside. India 15/2 in 4 overs.
10.22 am: Cross seam is the way to go for both of these new-ball bowlers and it is causing the batsmen some discomfort as they can't figure out which way the ball will move after pitching. The first one of the over from Pradeep moves back in and hits Pujara's pads. An appeal is made but no is the umpire's reply, with the ball going well down leg. Pujara then gets off strike with a single to the covers and then Wicket, Rahane (8, 13b, 2x4) gone! Is the India crumble already on then. A full ball dipping in again, Rahane misses and the ball smacks him right in front of the stumps. As easy a decision as they come for umpire Nigel Llong. India 14/2 in 3.4 overs.
10.18 am: Boy Rahane is timing the ball well. A half volley from Prasad on the stumps and Rahane drives it straight as an arrow for another boundary. Prasad is struggling a little here with some sort of neck/upper shoulder problem. He got some treatment on the boundary line in the second over and he lets out a big "Owwww" after bowling the second ball of the over, which is also called a no-ball. On and around off after that. India 13/1 in 3 overs.
10.12 am: Pradeep from the other end for Sri Lanka. Pujara's first ball of the seriesis one back of a length at the stumps, which he defends well. Then Pradeep keeps it outside off and Pujara is happy to leave – watch out for the one that comes in Cheteshwar, even from Pradeep, watch out for that. Pujara gets off the mark with a guide to the vacant third man area for a couple. India 8/1 in 2 overs.
10.08 am: Right smack on target is Prasad to new batsman Ajinkya Rahane, who defends his first ball well, not making the same mistake of leaving the delivery. Next ball is a touch fuller and Rahane just uses his hands – no foot movement at all – to time the ball straight back for a boundary, his first runs and India's first boundary of the 3rd Test match. Defends the remaining two balls. India 6/1 in 1 over.
10.03 am: A little prayer from Prasad and he runs in. Full outside off and Rahul goes for the drive, hits the inner half of his bat and it squirts away past the right of Herath at mid-on for a couple. Wicket, Rahul (2, 2b) gone! Oh my, Prasad strikes again in the first over. Man he has a knack for that, doesn't he. And again it is off the one that jags back. Rahul shoulders arms to a ball that tails in quite a bit and his stumps go for a toss. Poor shot/no shot from Rahul, great start for Sri Lanka. India 2/1 in 0.2 overs.
10 am: Pujara and Rahul are also in – indeed they were ready to go even before the Sri Lanka players – Rahul on strike to Prasad.
9.59 am: Just about ready. The umpires walk onto the field under these gloomy conditions and so do Sri Lanka, led by Herath. The hosts then go into that huddle and it looks like it will be Kusal Perera donning the gloves. So that responsibility is reduced on Chandimal.
9.48 am: All on India to bat well in this first session. There is plenty of grass and a bit of cloud cover as well. Pressure right on Pujara, playing his first match of the series, then.
9.42 am: Teams: India: KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Stuart Binny, Naman Ojha, R Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav.
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Upul Tharanga, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Perera, Dhammika Prasad, Rangana Herath, Tharindu Kaushal, Nuwan Pradeep.
9.37 am: Pretty easy decision to bowl first says Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lanka skipper. Three changes for Sri Lanka – Tharanga, Kusal Perera, debutant, and Nuwan Pradeep in for Sangakkara, Mubarak and Chameera.
"Probably would have bowled first as well," says Kohli. India only have the two forced changes, with Pujara and Ojha coming in for Vijay and Saha. Test debut for Ojha, who becomes India's 285th Test player.
9.34 am: Jonty Rhodes with the pitch report. Relaid strip so not sure how the wicket will play he says. Grass is in patches and it might not be as potent for the bowlers as one might expect, with slow carry. Wicket will get slower and slower.
9.32 am: As I say that, I get the message that Sri Lanka have won the toss and they will bowl first.
9.31 am: Since the host broadcaster does not believe in showing the toss live, we just have to wait a little while longer to find out who is going to bat first, along with the team news.
9 am: Here we are then, once more, awaiting the start of an India-Sri Lanka Test, on the back of another seriously-good match, which, this time, saw Virat Kohli and his "boys" come to the fore for the entirety.
Hello everyone and welcome to this live blog of IBTimes India, where life stands still and everything is hunky dory. Let me just begin by wishing all the Malayalis out there – and those by association, I know there are plenty of those – a very Happy Onam. So, please do enjoy your sadhya and all of those big movies that are on TV, but don't forget to stay right here for all the live updates of the Test match.
With the series tied at 1-1, it need hardly be said how much both India and Sri Lanka will want to win this game, with Day 1 and that toss set to play a big part as well.
Both captains have won the toss and decided to bat first in this series so far, and, unless that grass that was there a couple of days ago still remains on the wicket, expect "Umm, we are going to have a bat" to come out from the skipper who wins the toss.
India will go into this match with a couple of changes, as Cheteshwar Pujara comes in for the injured Murali Vijay, while Naman Ojha is expected to make his debut in place of Wriddhiman Saha, another player who has been bitten by the injury bug.
Sri Lanka will also go into this Test match with quite a few changes, the first of them being Upul Tharanga for the irreplaceable Kumar Sangakkara, while Kusal Perera and Nuwan Pradeep could also come in for Jehan Mubarak and Dushmantha Chameera respectively.
That young offspinner Tharindu Kaushal, who has frustrated and impressed in equal measure could miss out with a finger injury, with Dilruwan Perera then coming in.
The toss will be at 9.30 pm and we will find out the team makeup then. Until then, though, here is some reading for you guys to do. Ravi Shastri talks about batting positions, while Sanath Jayasuriya talks about batting. The schedule for the entire Test match is something to go through, while what Ojha and Pujara can bring is also something to ponder over.
Also if you feel the need to watch this Test match on TV or online, but don't know where, all the information you require, my friends, is right HERE