About the Match
Sri Lanka will host India in a 3-match test series, the first of which will start on 12th August at Galle; while the island nation prepares to give a winning farewell to one of cricket’s greats, Sangakkara, who will retire after the second test match, the visitors are eying a test series win away from home under the new captain, Virat Kohli. Sri Lanka suffered a humiliating series loss in all three formats of the game against visiting Pakistan and hope to do better here; India on the other hand has not played test matches for a while now but with a rejuvenated squad, they will be eager to make the best of this opportunity and overcome the hosts in this game of persistence.
Their performance against Pakistan was shoddy and they will need more than skills to make a better impact against India; Angelo Mathews will lead the side that has Kumar Sangakkara, who continues to be the run-machine for the team, featuring in the last test series
of his career. Sangakkara has 27,921 international runs to his name and will definitely make his last series count; Mathews, Upul Tharanga, Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne will need to step up and shoulder the responsibilities that till now the duo of Sanga and Jayawardene shared.
On the bowling front, old horse Rangana Herath has been consistently taking wickets and will get support from players like Nuwan Pradeep, Dhammika Prasad, Dilruwan Perera , Jehan Mubarak and the debutant Vishwa Fernando, who has been picked to provide depth on the pace.
Overall, the team has some talented players with both bat and ball but they need to find the mental strength to fight on the field and rise up to the expectations of the home crowd.
It’s been more than 22 years since the men in blue conquered the island nation in a test series and they are looking to grab this opportunity to do so yet again, especially since the hosts are on the back-foot here. Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara are strong batsmen, who can keep the runs coming; along with Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, who can build strong partnerships, the batting line-up is a formidable force to reckon with.
Harbhajan Singh is back in the team and will be eager to assist Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra with the spin attack. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma have been performing consistently and will definitely provide the required breakthroughs.
Kohli will have to lead from the front and this is his big moment to prove his abilities as a leader after he took over from captain-cool Dhoni; overall, the team has a well-balanced team of strong batsmen and bowlers, who are motivated to win the upcoming series.
Although this is an emotional series for the Sri Lankans and they are determined to give a memorable farewell to Sangakkara, the Indians have been performing better than their counterparts and look better placed to have the competitive edge to win the first match