Tomorrow morning (26th July 2017), India begin their tour to Sri Lanka – 3 Tests, 5 ODIs and a single T20I. The tour begins with the 1st Test at Galle, where Sri Lanka have won all of their last four test matches.
However, India are champions of the world in this format – 1st in the ICC Test Rankings, as compared to the hosts who are at #7. We at Read Scoops are here to preview the 1st test match for all you cricket fans:
The islanders have a cricket team that is facing a lot of problems at the moment. The transition after their legendary players retired took longer than we would’ve imagined as Sri Lanka have always managed to produce high quality cricketers.
However, the team has been having a bad time in the last year or two in international cricket. They most recently hosted Zimbabwe and lost the ODI series 3-2, followed by a closely contested test match which they managed to win. Will they be able to overcome the mighty Indians at home?
The problems for them continued as Angelo Mathews stepped down after their humiliation against Zimbabwe. They appointed Dinesh Chandimal as captain of the test side but he hasn’t even been a regular part of the team. Chandimal will miss the 1st test due to pneumonia which means Rangana Herath will lead the team.
Herath has 3 wins out of 5 tests he has captained but they have all come against lesser ranked teams; this will be his first real challenge. The 39-year old took 11 wickets in that test against Zimbabwe and he is definitely enjoying his personal form, if not the team’s performances.
He fights with the bat if required as well, and will be very crucial to Sri Lanka’s chances on these spinning pitches. With the bat, Kusal Mendis will have to stand up, along with Upul Tharanga who has been around for ages and has loads of experience to offer the team.
The X-factor for the hosts will be Asela Gunaratne. He rose to fame after winning Sri Lanka the T20 series in Australia, got an IPL contract and very recently also showed that he is a good test player, winning the Man of the Match in the game against Zimbabwe. We hope the hosts can put up a good fight in this series.
It’s been 3 years since the last drawn test match in Sri Lanka (18 games). India have a good, wicket-taking bowling attack and have a strong batting line-up as well, so they will be looking to go for the kill early on in this tour.
However, these two teams always produce cracking contests; the last being Sri Lanka’s win over India in the Champions Trophy. For India, KL Rahul finally got back to the squad after injury but will miss out again – dropped from the 1st test due to fever.
They had their worries choosing the opening combination and they finally decided to select Shikhar Dhawan over Gambhir, because of his runs in the CT 2017, and in the tour to West Indies. Abhinav Mukund is all set to take KL Rahul’s slot as Dhawan’s opening partner.
Dhawan’s good form followed by a strong middle order consisting of the likes of Kohli and Pujara means we could be in for a big 1st innings total if India apply themselves well. This will be their first series after Ravi Shastri took over from Kumble as Head Coach and this first game will speak a lot.
India will also have to make a choice between Rohit Sharma at #6 (first choice) or the all-rounder Hardik Pandya for the 1st Test. Saha at #7 will also be vital as he is a hardworking batsman and hates throwing his wicket away.
Kuldeep Yadav is all set to make his test debut for India. He was good in the tour to West Indies and also picked up 4 wickets in the warm up game here in Sri Lanka. We’re all set for an exciting first clash between India and Sri Lanka at the Galle International Stadium!
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