Sri Lanka chose to bowl in the first ODI against India, the Cuttack surface sporting several cracks, but nevertheless expected to be full of runs in both innings. Angelo Mathews cited the possibility of dew forming in the evening as the basis for his decision.
Virat Kohli said he would have also fielded first, for the same reason. In 16 completed ODIs at the venue, the team batting second has won 11 times, with the team batting first winning five.
India picked two frontline slow bowlers, in left-arm orthodox spinner Akshar Patel and offspinner R Ashwin, and three quicks: Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron and Ishant Sharma. Ravindra Jadeja was rested, while M Vijay also sat out.
Sri Lanka chose to play without their most experienced bowler on tour, Nuwan Kulasekara, who had gone seven ODIs without a wicket. Right-arm seamer Lahiru Gamage made a debut, and offspinner Suraj Randiv was picked for his first ODI since August 2011. Upul Tharanga will open the innings with Tillakaratne Dilshan, ahead of Kusal Perera.
The weather is expected to remain good for the duration of the match.