Bengaluru, March 11: After convincingly winning the first match, India will be looking for a 2-0 sweep against Sri Lanka, when the two teams meet in the second and final test, to be played under the lights, here from Saturday.
A dominant win by one innings and 222 runs in the first Test in Mohali cemented India’s fifth position in the World Test Championship standings, but they will look to move further with a victory in Bengaluru.
It will be India’s third day-night pink ball test at home, following matches in Kolkata against Bangladesh (November 2019) and Ahmedabad against England (February 2021). India won both tests in three days.
Although India won the last match easily, the test of the pink ball presents a completely different set of challenges and will also keep the hosts on their toes. The Rohit-Sharma led team cannot afford a slip up at home at this point in the Test Championship cycle and should motivate them to maintain their intensity.
The likes of Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer, who all started in the previous game but failed to turn them into big innings, will try to make a big impact with their bats. On the other hand, the lower-tier trio of Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, who shone with the bat, will be looking to continue their rich streak of form.
India played three spinners and two pacers in the first Test at Mohali. But it will be interesting to see if 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’s vice-captain Jasprit Bumrah mentioned that the team management will take the call on the eleven players 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 to the practice session. After that, we will have a clear idea if we want to go into the match with three seamers or three spinners,” Bumrah said.
At the first pink ball Test in Calcutta, the Indian spinners walked away empty-handed, while at the next (Ahmedabad), the trio of Axar, Ashwin and Washington Sundar dropped 19 of the 20 wickets.
India has made a change in the squad with Axar Patel replacing Kuldeep Yadav. Patel, who last played against New Zealand in November, has recovered from his shin injury and Covid-19 and could slot straight into the playing XI in place of Jayant Yadav.
On the other hand, the struggling Sri Lankan team suffered a serious blow before the match. Pathum Nissanka, who was the visitors’ top scorer with an unbeaten 61 in the first innings, has been ruled out of the second Test due to a back injury.
Meanwhile, Dushmantha Chameera, who did not take part in the first test in Mohali, is also unavailable for selection as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury. According to Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne, Chameera’s workload was being managed until the T20 World Cup, which is scheduled for October this year, and the pacer would be available for limited games only in the interim period after his release. Recovery.
Given the relative success Embuldeniya had in the opener, Sri Lanka are set to launch another left-arm spinner in Praveen Jayawickrama, who has two fifes and 18 wickets from three Tests so far. The Test will be Suranga Lakmal’s last game for Sri Lanka and the Islanders hope to give the veteran bowler a send-off to remember.
Squad: India: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Priyank Panchal, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Shubhman Gill, Rishabh Pant (Goalkeeper), 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 (Goalkeeper), Chamika Karunaratne, Lahiru Kumara, Suranga Lakmal, Vishwa Fernando, Jeffrey Vandersay, Praveen Jayawickrema, and Lasith Embuldeniya.