In test cricket recently home teams have dominated series regularly with the visiting side struggling to even make matches a good contest, but this time India have dominated their tour of Sri Lanka.
The visitors have ripped Sri Lanka apart in the first two tests of the three-match series and have looked hungry for more runs, whereas Sri Lanka looks like poor lambs being slaughtered by the enemy in their own territory.
Kohli and his side haven’t put a foot wrong on this tour so far and have coped with the loss of Ravindra Jadeja to suspension with ease. For Sri Lanka, even the return of Dinesh Chandimal couldn’t prevent them from falling to a heavy defeat in Colombo.
For the third Test in Pallekele, it is expected that the first session against the new ball will see very difficult conditions to bat in, so whoever wins the toss will pick up a huge advantage before a ball is bowled.
Rangana Herath (capt), Upul Tharanga, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Asela Gunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Malinda Pushpakumara, Nuwan Pradeep.
Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, K. L. Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-capt.), Rohit Sharma, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, W Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav and Abhinav Mukund.
Where The Teams Stand
The only box they have ticked in the series so far has been their 2nd innings fight in Colombo. Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis put up a brave resistance, but no one stood with them. They were consistently getting beaten by the turn and bounce that Ashwin and Jadeja provided. Even experienced personnel like Angelo Mathews and Chandimal could not settle.
Their bowling is in shambles despite the excellent spin bowling of captain Rangana Herath. Nuwan Pradeep was the pick of the bowlers in the first Test, but was injured in the second one and could not bowl for long spells. Malinda Pushpakumara was expensive on debut but would be harsh to write him off immediately.
The tourists have out batted Sri Lanka, out bowled Sri Lanka, and dominated them through almost all passages of play so far. If there is a problem for them it is their slip catching. Kohli’s record as a slip catcher has been abysmal in the last year. Ajinkya Rahane, on the contrary, doesn’t seem to know how to let the ball run past him in thin air. Their slip catching needs to improve, and it will prove a vital cog in the Indian team, particularly going to tours of England, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, where slip catches define test matches. Jadeja will miss the third test due to suspension, and while Axar Patel has been named his replacement, expect Kuldeep Yadav to get an opportunity.
India wrapping up a whitewash in no time. The only question will be how long it will take them to do it.
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