Sri Lanka paceman Suranga Lakmal took three wickets without conceding a run to put India in the mire, but only 11.5 overs were possible on day one of the first Test at Eden Gardens.
Lakmal snared KL Rahul caught behind with a brilliant first ball of the three-match series on a green track when play finally started under the floodlights following a lengthy delay due to rain
The quick generated swing and movement off the seam to cause the India batsmen all sorts of problems and Shikhar Dhawan, opening with Rahul after Murali Vijay was left out, played on attempting an extravagant drive on a dismal Thursday in Kolkata.
Bad light brought the players off the field again at 17-2 and captain Virat Kohli would have been hoping that was the end of it in such testing conditions.
The magnificent Lakmal struck again in with what proved to be the penultimate over of the day, though, trapping the skipper leg before with a delivery that jagged back in, Kohli failing with a review.
Poor light brought play to a premature end with the top-ranked Test side 17-3 as Sri Lanka eye another famous Test series win after their triumph over Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates and look to respond to their limited-overs failure against the same opponents.
Dinesh Chandimal was only the second captain since 1969 to field first after winning the toss at Eden Gardens and he was certainly not regretting that decision.