India Vs Sri Lanka, 2017: Match Prediction For Colombo Test
Wrapping up the first Test inside four days; Team India-led by Virat Kohli, who is buoyant to carry forward the winning momentum in the longer format of the game, whilst completing the successful series wins at home, as injury-hit Sri Lanka would be eyeing to salvage some pride after receiving the 304-run drubbing, in the very first Test of the three match series at the Galle International Stadium which kicks started on July 26 (Wednesday).
In the first Test, India had annihilated the hosts by putting up a splendid show with the bat, before bowlers did their job to put the brakes on Rangana Herath’s Sri Lanka which recently claimed a record-breaking win against Graeme Cremer’s Zimbabwe after chasing down the fourth innings target of 388 for the loss of six wickets following stiff resistance from gloveman Niroshan Dickwella and recently injured Asela Gunaratne.
Earlier, the hosts had to face a huge blow in the form of newly-appointed Test skipper Dinesh Chandimal, who was suffering from pneumonia. However, according to the doctor’s statement revealed to the Lankan media, the right-handed experienced campaigner is enjoying a speedy recovery.
Interestingly, Sri Lanka has good news in the form of Chandimal, who has joined the squad and is expected to lead the struggling side, in the second Test which is scheduled at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground (SSC), in Colombo on August 3.
On the other side, Indian captain Virat Kohli, who is marshalling his troops well, has shown a lot of character on the field to believe in his players and particularly in a youngster like Hardik Pandya, who has smashed his maiden fifty in the very first innings of his Test career.
However, he is yet to prove in a nutshell whether he is playing a role of bowling all-rounder or a batting respectively in the Playing XI.
On the hind sight, hosts are struggling as they have had lost their two crucial players owing to the injuries, as all-rounder Asela Gunaratne didn’t bat in the first innings after injuring his hand at the first slip while grassing a simple catch of explosive Shikhar Dhawan, before Herath picked up his finger injury again which kept him out of the second innings with the bat.
As India is confident after the outright win against Sri Lanka, the hosts on the other side have a lot of homework to do to plug in their loopholes after going down miserably against formidable and ranked Number 1 in Test rankings.
As the recent series has had witnessed a lot at the Test arena with India claiming a comfortable Test win by 208 runs over Bangladesh in the One-off Test at home in February which further saw Sri Lanka finding it difficult at their own backyard to tackle when they faced Zimbabwe, before the start of the ongoing series against India.
Sri Lanka has been struggling after claiming their 3-0 win over Australia last year, as the then skipper Angelo Mathews struggled to keep his body fit, before relinquishing from his post recently.
Virat Kohli would be having a headache while picking up his openers for the upcoming Test, as KL Rahul is waiting in the wings after recovering from the seasonal flu.
Interestingly, Rahul, who is averaging 44.44 in his short Test career, has shown lot of promise with the bat and is highly likely going to replace Abhinav Mukund, who has also set his Test highest of 81 during the second innings at Galle after posting 12 in the first.
On the other side, Shikhar Dhawan, who smashed his career best in Test after posting 190 off 168 deliveries, would be enjoying his role as an opener after being inducted into the squad at the last minute.
The left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja has played a pivotal role in the Tests for India alongside Ravichandran Ashwin.
The ranked World Number 1 Jadeja has been at the forefront to make this quite difficult for the different opponents.
In his 47.2 overs, the Saurashtra-born Jadeja has bagged six wickets in the Galle Test.
With the introduction of Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav, Virat Kohli has shown a significant improvement as a skipper which further has left the solid impact on the unit.
Worried Sri Lanka:
Talking about Sri Lanka, the couple of performances has been on an offer which further saw opener Dimuth Karunaratne posting 97 in the second innings, as gloveman Niroshan Dickwella posted 67 in the second innings.
Sri Lanka has been struggling to put on consistent performance whereas, fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep was the only highlight for Sri Lanka with the ball, who went on to pick six wickets in the first innings.
Lacking the lustre, hapless Sri Lanka has to put on an all-round show, in a bid to give a close fight against visitors.
(Read More: Ravichandran Ashwin Breaks Yet Another Record)
The Lankan management would be eyeing to introduce the fresh legs, but it would be turn out to be crucial on their part as they are already down 1-0 in the series. Moreover, they would be aiming to see Dilruwun Perera playing a vital role both with the bat and a ball.
For India the top-order has been once again in form to give decent start, they would be aiming to continue their merry-run as Dhawan, who came as a replacement for Murali Vijay struck 190 which further saw Cheteshwar Pujara notching up his 12th hundred in the first innings of Galle Test, before skipper himself came out after falling cheaply on 3 in the first innings went on to smash unbeaten 103 to rack up his 17th hundred and 10 as a longer format skipper.
It would also be interesting to see whether Kohli would stick with the same playing XI or go for a couple of changes in the line-up which he has opted since being nominated for the top-profile post.
2nd Test Match Prediction:
As India has started off clear favourites for the Test series owing to the strength and the formation of the team, the second Test is expected to go on the fifth day as spinner are highly likely going to enjoy the most share of the wickets.
While looking at the depth of the team and the recent performances the visitors are expected to clinch the series to go 2-0 up in the competition.
We could also witness a close encounter if hosts would put on their top notch performance and they are capable of making a comeback to make scoreline interesting.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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