"We love chasing", said Kohli at the toss as he explained his decision of bowling first.
India captain Virat Kohli celebrated the ninth anniversary of his global debut by going back to where it all began in Sri Lanka.
That fact was only driven home by India's batting performance in the second innings where the lone wicket came in the form of an unfortunate run-out when Rohit Sharma lost his bat going for a run and was out despite crossing the crease but not landing his foot.
Skipper Virat Kohli also praised Dhawan for his innings and said the team wanted him to stay in the happy zone, which he is in now.
The Indian think-tank has made a lot of moves in this regard, and prima facie, the most important of them at present is the simple declaration that K.L. Rahul will bat at No. 4 throughout this five-match contest.
From there it was the Dhawan show as the opener lashed 20 fours and three sixes in his 132 off just 90 balls, with captain Kohli (82) typically brilliant in an unfamiliar role of foil in a blistering 197-run stand.
The second ODI is scheduled for Thursday in Pallekele. Dhawan was named the player of the match.
Ashwin will be the first Indian player to play for Worcestershire since Zaheer Khan resurrected his worldwide career after a superb season with them in 2006.
After being whitewashed in the longer format of the game, Sri Lanka is set for a tough Test against the Indian cricket team in the ODI series starting from today. This gives captain Upul Tharanga an added option of strengthening their batsmen as they can play Mathews as the third seamer too.
With bowlers like Lasith Malinga also back in the squad, Sri Lanka have the ammunitions to put India in the backfoot.
Sri Lanka and Indian sub-continent: TV: Sony Ten.
Tharanga wants to forget what transpired in the Test series, and believes they did not play well.
India captain Virat Kohli started bowling with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya, but both failed to take wickets.
Sri Lanka did manage to beat India in their Champions Trophy encounter.
Lasith Malinga conceded 52 runs in eight overs, Vishwa Fernando (43) in 6 overs, Angelo Mathews (9) in two overs, Thisara Perera (18) in two overs, Lakshan Sandakan (63) in six overs, Lakshan Sandakan (35) in 4.5.