Pink-ball Test: India eye clean sweep against Sri Lanka, improvement in WTC table

Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne and India skipper Rohit Sharma.

Pink-ball Test: India eye clean sweep against Sri Lanka, improvement in WTC table

Bengaluru, March 11, 2022

After winning the first match convincingly, India will look for a 2-0 sweep against Sri Lanka, when the two sides meet in the second and final Test, which will be played under the lights, here from Saturday.

A dominating win by an innings and 222 runs in the first Test in Mohali consolidated India's fifth position in the World Test Championship standings but they will be looking to move further up with a win in Bengaluru.

It will be India's third day-night pink-ball Test at home, following matches in Kolkata against Bangladesh (November 2019) and in Ahmedabad against England (February 2021). India won both those Tests inside three days.

Though India won the last match easily, the pink-ball Test presents a whole different set of challenges and will keep the hosts on their toes. The Rohit-Sharma-led side can't afford a home slip-up at this juncture of the Test Championship cycle and it should motivate them to maintain their intensity.

The likes of Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer -- who all got starts in the previous game but failed to convert them into big innings -- will try to make a big impact with their bats. On the other hand, the lower-order trio of Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, who all had brilliant outings with the bat, will look to continue their rich vein of form.

India played three spinners and two pacers in the first Test in Mohali. But it will be interesting to see whether there could be a change in the team's strategy for the pink-ball game considering the different playing conditions.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference, India vice-captain Jasprit Bumrah mentioned that the team management will take the call about the playing eleven after today's practice session.

"We had a look at the surface yesterday but it's too early to say much because today is the day we access the wicket when we go for the practice session. After that we'll have a clear idea if we want to go into the match with three seamers or three spinners," said Bumrah.

In the first pink-ball Test in Kolkata, Indian spinners came away empty-handed while in the next one (Ahmedabad), the trio of Axar, Ashwin and Washington Sundar took 19 of the 20 wickets to fall.

India have made one change to the squad with Axar Patel replacing Kuldeep Yadav. Patel, who last played against New Zealand in November, has recovered from his shin injury as well as Covid-19 and could slot right into the playing XI in place of Jayant Yadav.

On the other hand, the struggling Sri Lanka team suffered a massive blow going into the match. Pathum Nissanka, who top-scored for the visitors with an unbeaten 61 in the first innings in the last match, has been ruled out of the second Test, due to a back injury.

Meanwhile, Dushmantha Chameera, who sat out the first Test in Mohali, is also not available for selection as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury. As per Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne, Chameera's workload was being managed till the T20 World Cup, which is scheduled for October this year, and the pacer would be available only for limited-over games in the interim period after his recovery.

Given the relative success that Embuldeniya had in the first match, Sri Lanka are set to throw in another left-arm spinner in Praveen Jayawickrama, who has two fifers and 18 wickets from three Tests so far.

The Test will be Suranga Lakmal's final game for Sri Lanka and the Islanders will be hoping to give the veteran bowler a farewell to remember.

Squad:

India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Priyank Panchal, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Shubhman Gill, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), KS Bharat, Ravindra Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, R. Ashwin, Saurabh Kumar, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Mohd. Shami, Jasprit Bumrah (vice-captain), Axar Patel

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Lahiru Thirimanne, Dhananjaya de Silva (vice-captain), Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Charith Asalanka, Niroshan Dickwella (wicketkeeper), Chamika Karunaratne, Lahiru Kumara, Suranga Lakmal, Vishwa Fernando, Jeffrey Vandersay, Praveen Jayawickrema and Lasith Embuldeniya.

IANS

Related Stories

No stories found.

Latest Stories

No stories found.

Trending Stories

No stories found.