However, all this changed on this day, two years ago, when Virat Kohli's India thumped Sri Lanka in the third and final Test in Colombo by 117 runs and clinched the series 2-1.
What made the win sweeter was that India had lost the first Test but made a remarkable comeback in the series by clinching the next two to win their first series in these conditions.
Batting first, the visitors were restricted to a modest 312 runs — courtesy of a four-wicket haul by Dhammika Prasad and three-wicket haul by Rangana Herath. However, things could have been, much worse had Cheteshwar Pujara not struck a majestic 145. While spinner Amit Mishra also chipped in with a more than handy half-century down the order.
During Lanka's first innings, bowler Ishant Sharma produced one of the most stunning spells of pace bowling and plucked five wickets as the hosts were bundled out for a paltry 201.
In India's second innings, Dhammika Prasad and Nuwan Pradeep both starred with four-wicket hauls as India were dismissed for 274. Rohit Sharma and R Ashwin slammed their respective half-centuries in their innings as the visitors set a target of 385 to win the series.
But the Indian bowlers were having none of it as Ashwin picked up four wickets and Ishant ended the innings with three in his kitty. And despite a stunning century by Angelo Mathews and a half-century by Kusal Perera, the hosts fell short by 117 runs.
First Published: September 1, 2018, 2:15 PM IST