India look to level series as Sangakkara gears up for his farewell Test
India will be looking to hand veteran Kumar Sangakkara a not-so-happy ending in the second Test at Colombo which begins tomorrow. The Sri Lankan legend had already decided to hang up his boots after this Test match having already retired from One Day Internationals earlier this year after the World Cup.
Sri Lanka under Angelo Mathews would be looking to give their legend a grand farewell with a series win especially after losing the series to Pakistan last month. India were in pole position to win the 1st Test match until Dinesh Chandimal’s counter attacking unbeaten 162 changed the whole complexion of the Test match.
Chasing 176 to win on the 4th day, India succumbed to Rangana Herath’s guile as the 37-year-old picked up a 7-wicket haul to give the home side a shock 1-0 lead. The visitors will have to quickly regroup and must take advantage of the occasion surrounding the Test.
They have added Stuart Binny to their squad at the last minute and he is expected to slot in straight away most likely in Harbhajan’s place. Shikhar Dhawan will certainly be missed at the top of the order, but India have been welcomed by the return of Murali Vijay who has been one of their most prolific run-scorers in the last 18 months.
He will replace Dhawan at the top which will provide KL Rahul one more opportunity. But it remains to be seen whether Rohit Sharma will be getting another crack at number 3 or if the team management decides to go back to Cheteshwar Pujara whose record in the sub-continent is good.
For Sri Lanka, their only concern has been the fitness of seamer Nuwan Pradeep who is likely to miss out. Dushmantha Chameera in all likelihood will be replacing him in the XI. The most worrying concern for the fans will be the weather though.
The weather forecast says that showers are expected on all five days of the Test. Hopefully it stays away for us to witness a cracking contest.
Sri Lanka – 1 Dimuth Karunaratne, 2 Kaushal Silva, 3 Lahiru Thirimanne, 4 Kumar Sangakkara, 5 Angelo Mathews (capt), 6 Jehan Mubarak, 7 Dinesh Chandimal (wk), 8 Dhammika Prasad, 9 Rangana Herath, 10 Tharindu Kaushal, 11 Dushmantha Chameera
India – 1 M Vijay, 2 KL Rahul, 3 Rohit Sharma, 4 Virat Kohli (capt), 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 7 R Ashwin, 8 Stuart Binny, 9 Ishant Sharma, 10 Amit Mishra, 11 Varun Aaron