Having dominated India a major part of the first test at Kolkotta despite the final hiccup on the fifth day Sri Lanka will go in to tomorrow’s second test match content of having settled for a draw. The scare of ending up on a meager 75 for 7 wickets chasing a target of 231 is bad digesting. But end of the day a draw is a draw and on that note skipper Dinesh Chandimal and his charges can take heart as they prepare to get on the drawing board come tomorrow’s second of the 3-match Test series against India on Friday. Mindful that India came charging on the final day from a cocoon of a spell cast on Virat Kohli’s men on the first three days, overly the Sri Lankan camp can still smile for the fact that playing India in India and earning a draw is quite honourable in the final analysis.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lankans will carry the food for thought that India has already spelled out the desire to play the final two Tests of the Sri Lanka series on pitches helpful for fast bowlers like in Kolkotta. This ploy is reportedly as a preparation by India for the January 2018 tour of South Africa tour where there are fast, bouncy tracks. Thus Nagpur by all accounts will be a lively hard and bouncy green top as well as the pitch in Delhi where the third and final Test will commence on December 2.
As to the team preparations, according to news flitting in, Sri Lanka is expected to make one likely change where paceman Lahiru Gamage will be replaced by left arm paceman Vishwa Fernando if the team management opt for three paceies or the chinaman Lakshan Sandakan. Gamage claimed just a solitary wicket and proved too expensive conceding 156 runs in the match.
Of course, the Sri Lankan specialist batsmen will need to necessarily discipline themselves on their approach and application realizing that the name of the game is no half shares but the full measure input to carry their country through against the No.1 team in world cricket whom they are playing in the lion’s den.
India: Virat Kohli (capt.), KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Umesh, Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Vijay Shankar, Kuldeep Yadav and Rohit Sharma.
Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (capt.), Angelo Mathews, Dimuth Karunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Suranga Lakmal, Dasun Shanaka, Viswa Fernando, Lahiru Gamage, Lakshan Sandakan, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dilruwan Perera and Roshen Silva.
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-