India completed a huge victory of 304 runs in the 1st test against Sri Lanka in Galle, taking a 1-0 lead. The 2nd test will be played at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, and the last time these two sides played here in 2015, India won by 117 runs.
Being the hosts, Sri Lanka have not had the best records, winning only 19 of their 40 tests here. Going on current form, this record may less get worse here. We at Read Scoops have previewed the 2nd test of this series:
A few months back, KL Rahul and Murali Vijay would’ve been your ideal openers for India in the longest format but Shikhar Dhawan was picked due to a Vijay injury and he responded with a stunning 190 that would’ve pleased audiences from around the world.
Abhinav Mukund was also given a chance as KL Rahul was out with fever. After failing in the 1st innings, he scored a gritty 81 in the 2nd innings. What does Kohli do now? Let’s keep in mind that KL Rahul is back to 100% fitness and the Indian captain needs to choose two from these three fit openers.
India with Rahul fit for the 2nd test, face a conundrum in the selection of openers with both Dhawan & Mukund having done well in 1st test
— Ram (@ram574) August 2, 2017
— Bihan Sengupta (@BihanSengupta91) August 2, 2017
Considering KL Rahul was first choice, I believe that he will be brought back into the team, most probably at the expense of Mukund, which may be a bit harsh on him but that’s the way the game works. I’m sure no one would drop Dhawan after that scintillating innings. Plus, he has been in prime form since the Champions Trophy in England.
Even if India do make a mistake in selecting the right opening pair, remember that they still have a very strong middle order consisting mainly of Kohli & Pujara, both of who also got centuries in the last game as well. I don’t expect any other changes and think Pandya should keep his place ahead of Kuldeep Yadav. However, Twitter may not agree with my pick:
Won't be surprised if Kuldeep Yadav replaces Pandya in 2nd Test
— Makarand Waingankar (@wmakarand) August 2, 2017
— The Quint (@TheQuint) August 2, 2017
How Sri Lanka will go about this and recover from that loss, I really don’t know. They came into this series with enough of problems only for them to increase after the 1st test. Asela Gunaratne was ruled out of the entire series with a fractured thumb and Lahiru Thirimanne has been named his replacement.
Thirimanna was good in ODIs, unfortunately not in tests. Bringing him back to the 'test' squad ahead of Sadeera is questionable.#SLvIND
— Rukhshan Hameem (@rukhshan) August 2, 2017
Thirimanne last played a test for Sri Lanka 13 months back so he will be rusty. Plus, he only has batting abilities to contribute to the side as compared to the all-rounder Gunaratne. To add to their problems, Suranga Lakmal was also ruled out due to back issues and Lakshan Sandakan was drafted into the squad as his replacement.
Thirimanne is doubtful to find a place in the eleven as Dinesh Chandimal will be coming back in to captain the side and that’s one positive for them. Sandakan’s return could also be a blessing in disguise for them as India haven’t seen much of this mystery spinner in the past.
Now comes the biggest question? Will their biggest weapon, Rangana Herath make the playing eleven?
My gut wants Herath to be injured so that Pushpakumara gets a chance 😬😅🙈
— Angelo Pinnaduwa (@AngeloPinnaduwa) August 2, 2017
Pushpakumara should play irrespective of Herath being fit or unfit
— DS (@Wise_Cricket) August 1, 2017
— Gopikrishna K (@KanagaGopi) August 2, 2017
Keep watching our Sports Scoops segment for similar content, and regular updates on the India-Sri Lanka test series!