About the Match
After the fright that Sri Lanka was able to give India in the first test, things returned to their usual selves in the second test as India demolished Sri Lanka with ease. The third test at New Delhi now looms ahead for the Sri Lankans who must be weary at having to play their sixth match against a rampaging Indian side in the span of a few months.
India is already looking ahead to the South African series and will be trying out their combinations while the Sri Lankans will be happy to escape with anything other than defeat.
The squad for the third test match was supposed to feature a few changes as people expected Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah to be given a run ahead of the South Africa tour but India chose to stick with the same squad and added back Shikhar Dhawan.
This means that a full strength Indian team will be available for the final test as well.
India has some difficult decisions to make ahead of this match, namely concerning the openers. We think that Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay are the current two openers you want to start with in South Africa and so that is the direction you go with in New Delhi as well.
It will be tough on Rahul but that’s a part and parcel of being a part of the Indian team these days.
The rest of batting order selects itself with Pujara, Kohli, Rahane, and Rohit all sure to be regulars for the upcoming away tours. Rahane is the only batsman among these who is yet to get runs and we would back him to do so in New Delhi this week.
The bowlers are also auditioning for a starting place in the playing eleven with Ashwin and Jadeja competing for the lone spinner’s spot, and Mohammad Shami, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma fighting for the three available fast bowler positions.
With Kumar not being a part of the squad, the other three will once again go head to head.
We loved the energy and pace that Ishant Sharma brought in the last test and are backing him to again to cause plenty of problems in his home test. The likely highest wicket-takers though will be one of the spinners where we are backing Ashwin to do the job once again.
After having the best of the conditions in Kolkata, having India on the mat in the first innings, and then still escaping with a near defeat, the expectation from Sri Lanka was not too high. It was not however expected that they would win an important toss once again and then be dismantled in both innings on a pitch that was pretty good for batting all throughout.
After putting in some hard work in the first test, it was very disappointing to see their batsmen return to an absolutely hair-brained scheme of trying to be ultra aggressive.
Maybe they were trying to put the bowlers off their lines but all they ended up doing was throwing their wickets away to needless shots. At this point in time, we don’t think the Sri Lankans have any different players to turn to and will stick with the same setoff batsmen.
Karunaratne, Chandimal, and Mathews are the batsmen that are most likely to score some runs. We are backing Mathews to do well in this match after being called out specifically by his coach after the last test.
Niroshan Dickwella continues to frustrate his supporters by playing a few good shots and then getting carried away in the heat of the things. We think it is time to realize that the current Sri Lankan team just does not know how to bat in test matches.
Their bowling will be without Rangana Herath who is out injured and one of Sandakan or Vandersay will take his place in New Delhi. The old warhorse will end yet another Indian tour with poor figures and one struggles to see him make another tour to these shores again.
Winning a test match is all about taking 20 wickets and we just don’t see this Sri Lankan team being able to do that against India unless the pitch turns out to be a real rank turner.
Pitch and Conditions
Winters have begun to set in New Delhi and so the players can expect a bit of chill in the air. The fast bowlers will get some movement in the first sessions of all the days with the spinners coming into the game from late in the second day onwards.
Kohli and co want to see a green pitch in preparation for South Africa but that cannot hide the basic nature of a surface. New Delhi has always aided the spinners and will definitely do so this time as well.
India to wi