Sri Lanka, not for the first time, were comprehensively beaten by India in the first match of the series, in no small part thanks to a brilliant all-round performance from Ravindra Jadeja. The Sri Lankans will now have to dust themselves off and try to find a way to go again in a match in which they look badly outgunned. But stranger things have happened. Read on for our full India vs Sri Lanka 2nd Test preview and prediction:
India vs Sri Lanka 2nd Test Preview and Prediction
Series So Far
Having broken the back of the Sri Lankan attack with 175 runs from number seven, Jadeja then set about tearing down their batting order. He took nine wickets in the match with Ravichandran Ashwin also offering valuable support, particularly in the second innings as he returned figures of 6-86 for the match. If the Indian seam attack were not particularly effective, though Jasprit Bumrah did take 2-36 in the first innings, that was hardly a concern after such a comprehensive victory.
For Sri Lanka, however, there is a great deal of work to do. They have still never won a Test match against India away from home and have just seven wins against India in total. Unfortunately, there is little reason to expect that to change after their disastrous showing in the first Test in Mohali. Pathum Nissanka and Niroshan Dickwella did get half-centuries, but there was nothing else to celebrate with bat or ball for the tourists.
It would be a surprise to see India change the make-up of their side significantly, though the pink ball may be a factor. Expect Mayank Agarwal and captain Rohit Sharma to once again open the batting, with Hanuma Vihari to be given another auditions at number three. He made a composed 58 in Mohali. Virat Kohli will bat at four and will surely be increasingly desperate to end his long wait for another international hundred. Rishabh Pant, out for 96 in Mohali, will bat at five.
Shreyas Iyer will bat at six. He made a century on debut against New Zealand batting at five and will hope to recapture that form after a rather disappointing outing in Mohali. Jadeja could hardly improve on his performance in the first match, but is a key man at number seven. Ashwin will bat at eight, whilst Axar Patel is fit again and will replace Jayant Yadav. Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah will round out the Indian XI. They will be a dangerous duo if India get the chance to bowl under lights.
Sri Lanka will be hoping for more from their opening combination of Dimuth Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne. In fact, they will need more from Karunaratne and Thirimanne if they are to have any real chance of getting a result here. Particularly as Nissanka will miss out with a back injury. Kusal Mendis is the likeliest replacement for him at number three. Veteran all-rounder Angelo Matthews will bat at four, with Dhanajaya de Silva in at number five.
Niroshan Dickwella batted creditably for his 50 in a hopeless cause in the second innings. Sri Lanka will doubtless be hoping for more of the same from their wicket-keeper with the bat. Dinesh Chandimal may well get the nod ahead of Charith Asalanka to strengthen the Sri Lankan batting unit. Particularly because their lower-order contributed so little with the bat. Lahiru Kumara will likely drop out of the side, with Chamika Karunaratne, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Embuldeniya and Praveen Jayawickrama the frontline bowlers.
Patel has been just about unplayable in Indian conditions so far in his career. The spinner has taken 36 wickets at just 11.86 and has claimed a five-wicket haul in all five Test matches he has played. He has also proven himself a handy lower-order batsman, with a respectable average of 29. With the Sri Lankan batting order in disarray after the hammering they took in Mohali, Patel’s return to the Indian side cannot be welcome news.
Lakmal will be making his final bow in Test cricket. It seems safe to assume that he would dearly love it to be a successful one. And he may well have a big role to play if Sri Lanka are to win this match. He has never been the type of bowler to intimidate opposition batters, but he is very accurate and rarely wavers from a good line and length. Under lights with the pink ball in hand, those are qualities that can cause opponents real problems.
After such a one-sided first match, and indeed such a one-sided rivalry, there do not appear to be many reasons to feel confident in Sri Lanka’s chances here. India, on home turf, look just about unbeatable at the moment. If they are to be beaten, it will surely take a better side than Sri Lanka to do it. Ultimately, it is hard to think of a single Sri Lankan player that would get into the Indian side. That just about sums it up.
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