The second match of the Cricbuzz Test Series between India and Sri Lanka has more significance not only because of Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara’s farewell match but also it might determine the road ahead for the Indian Test team under their new skipper Virat Kohli. After surrendering in the first test match, India will be itching to put up a better show in the second test at the P Sara Oval in Colombo and spoil Sri Lanka’s farewell plans for Sangakkara. This match also is a litmus test for Indian batsman Rohit Sharma, whose place in the test side is under the scrutiny. Let’s take a look at what we got in store in the second test.

Know the Venue: The P. Sara Oval in Colombo is one of the most historic grounds which is owned by the Cricket and Athletic Club of Tamil Union. It is named after a former civil servant and first President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India Paikiyasothy Saravanamuttu (P. Sara).


Overall: India lead the Head-to-Head with 14-7 with 15 matches ending in a draw.

In Sri Lanka: In the 19 matches played in Sri Lanka, India has won only 4 while the hosts have won 7 with 8 matches ending in a stalemate.

P. Sara Oval, Colombo

Pitch and Weather: According to the meteorological department, it is expected to rain throughout the second Test match as well. The same forecast was predicted for the first test too but thankfully, the match was not interrupted by rain. The pitch at the P Sara Oval is expected to be a sporting wicket that will assist the pacers early on and will have something for the spinners as the match goes on. Batsmen, once set can score huge runs on this surface.




Sri Lanka




729-9 at Mumbai (CCI) in 2009

Highest Team Totals

952-6 at Colombo in 1997

112 at Galle in 2015

Lowest Team total

82 at Chandigarh in 1990

Sachin Tendulkar 1995 runs in 25 matches @ 60.45

Most runs by a batsman

Mahela Jayawardene1822 in 18 matches @ 67.48

Anil Kumble 74 wickets in 18 matches at 31.20

Most wickets by a bowler

Muttiah Muralitharan 105 wickets in 22 matches @ 32.61

Virender Sehwag 293 at Mumbai in 2009

Highest Individual Score

Sanath Jayasuriya 340 at Colombo in 1997

Muttiah Muralitharan 8-87 at Colombo in 2001

Best Bowling figures

Maninder Singh 7-51 at Nagpur in 1986


Hosts Sri Lanka will come out for the second test at Colombo with just one aim in their mind- Play Hard, win the match and give their legendary batsman Kumar Sangakkara a farewell like the one they gave in the Twenty20 format (a win against India in the 2014 World T20 finals). After the heroics in the first test, India will not underestimate the Lankans and Angelo Mathews and co. will be hoping for a better show in the second outing. Both the openers Kushal Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne found it difficult to get going against the Indian bowlers as they were dismissed cheaply in both the innings and even became the fourth opening pair in the history and the first Sri Lankan pair to get out on 0 each. 

Kumar Sangakkara will don the Lankan colours for the last time in his career

It will be interesting to see who Lanka sends in at number 3. It was a position in which Kumar Sangakkara batted majority of his career and he might just walk out at the fall of the first wicket ahead of Lahiru Thirimanne, who batted at number 3. After the retirement of Mahela Jayawardene, the number 4 slot has been up for the grabs and no one of the batsmen made it their own. Mathews will have to take a big decision as far as the number 4 slot id concerned. Last match’s hero Dinesh Chandimal is a candidate for the slot along with Thirimanne, but it would be better for the team if Mathews play at 4 followed by Chandimal at 5 and Thirimanne at 6.


Jehan Mubarak completes the seven batsmen. Sri Lankan bowling unit that comprises of Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Pradeep, Rangana Herath and Tharindhu Kaushal did a great job for the hosts in the first match and the team management will expect them to come to the party once again and trouble the Indian batsmen.

India will be sweating on the fitness of Murali Vijay, who batted in the nets earlier today.

On the other hand, India has several areas to address.  First of all, India’s opening combination is yet to be in place for the second test as their opener Shikhar Dhawan, centurion from the last test was ruled out of the tour because of a hairline injury. While Dhawan has already been ruled out, his regular opening partner Murali Vijay is yet to prove his fitness after the Hamstring injury he sustained ahead of the first test. The team management has said that they will take a call on Vijay’s availability a day ahead of the match (ie. Tomorrow). So it has been confirmed that KL Rahul will be given the openers’ slot and might be asked to open with Cheteshwar Pujara if Vijay fails the test.

More than the openers slot, the number 3 has been under the scanner for a while. Ever since the retirement of Rahul Dravid, Cheteshwar Pujara batted at number 3 and did justice to the role. But in the past one year, Pujara’s form has been on the decline and the team management has decided to give Rohit Sharma a go at the position. Rohit, who began his Test career with two consecutive tons against the West Indies has been asked to bat at the number 3 slot in three matches and scored just 1 fifty in 5 innings. He failed miserably in the first test as there were calls to drop Rohit out of the team and replace him with Pujara. But skipper Virat Kohli will persist with the talented right-hander at number 3.

Is time running out for Rohit Sharma?

With Kohli going in with just five specialist batsmen, Rohit need to find form and repay his skipper’s faith on him. Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Wriddhiman Saha complete their batting line-up and India might just go in with All-Rounder Stuart Binny, who was called up ahead of the second test. The inclusion of Binny ahead of Harbhajan Singh will give the team a balance as Binny is capable of delivering with both bat and ball. The team management might also be tempted to make one more change in the bowling department in the form of Umesh Yadav coming in place of misfiring Varun Aaron and partner Ishant Sharma with the new ball with off-spinner R Ashwin and leggie Amit Mishra being the two spinners.

Preferred Playing Line-Ups:

India: Murali Vijay/Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Stuart Binny, R Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav.

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kumar Sangakkara, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Jehan Mubarak, Dinesh Chandimal, Tharindhu Kaushal, Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Pradeep and Rangana Herath.


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