After defeating hosts Sri Lanka by a convincing margin of 304 runs in the opening Test at Galle, India will look to pocket the series at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo once the 2nd Test begins from Thursday. The visitors will be high on confidence after a thoroughly professional performance which saw their bases being covered in all 3 departments of the game.
With the 2nd Test coming up in a little more than 24 hours time let us take a look at the 5 Players from either team to watch out for when the 2nd Test begins.
The Indian captain will be the first in the list among players to watch out for in the second Test. The flamboyant Delhi lad scored a well-crafted century in the second innings of the opening Test after managing only three in the first innings. Coming into the opening Test, Kohli had to fire after missing out in the series against Australia where he didn’t score anything substantial.
He has arguably been the greatest batsman of the modern generation and his record across all 3 formats of the game speaks volume about a man who has already entered transformed into a legend in his relatively short career. In the opening Test, he also became the only player to average more than 50 in all 3 formats of the game.
The southpaw made a sensational return to Test cricket in the 1st Test at Galle and blazed his way to a brilliant 190 to set the foundation for a big 1st innings score for the visitors. He literally toyed with the Sri Lankan bowlers and smashed them all around Galle. His innings of 190 came in a mere 166 deliveries which were decorated with 31 hits to the fence.
It was pure timing and brutal hitting by the left-hander who was pretty satisfied with his knock. He could have easily got to his maiden Test double century but on 190 he played a reckless shot to give his wicket away. With the amount of impact he can have on a match, Dhawan will definitely be a player to watch out for.
India’s leading wicket taking spinner Ravichandran Ashwin wasn’t at his imperious best in the opening Test and had to settle with only 4 wickets during the match. The pitch had nothing much to offer to the bowlers and Ashwin found the going tough. He bagged a solitary wicket in the 1st innings but came back in the 2nd innings to dismiss 3 Sri Lankan batsmen.
In the opening Test, Ashwin also became the highest wicket taker in Tests after playing 50 matches. He is just 21 wickets away from breaking Dennis Lillee’s record of fastest to 300 Test wickets and if the Sri Lankan pitches start assisting the spinners like it did the last time around, Ashwin might well achieve the feat in the remaining 2 Tests.
The regular captain of the Test side is expected to make a return after recovering from pneumonia which prevented him from taking part in the opening Test. It was Chandimal’s brilliant counter attacking century in India’s previous tour in 2015 which helped the hosts win the opening Test despite India dominating the majority of the game. He smashed a run a ball 162 which eventually helped Sri Lanka clinch the opening Test.
Pradeep was the only bowler who troubled the Indian batsmen more than once. It was a brilliant piece of fast bowling by Pradeep in the 1st innings which saw the fast bowler bag a record 6 wickets. He bowled in the right areas and bowled at a decent pace which kept on troubling the star-studded Indian batting line-up.
He will definitely look to come out all guns blazing in the 2nd Test and bag a couple of early Indian wickets. He has a good control of the over the ball unlike Dusmantha Chameera and can click 140 km/hr on a consistent basis.