“Our pace bowling is becoming fearsome” - Saba Karim predicts tough time for Sri Lankan batters in pink-ball Test

Indian team celebrates a wicket during the Mohali Test. Pic: BCCI
Indian team celebrates a wicket during the Mohali Test. Pic: BCCI
Renin Wilben Albert

Former wicketkeeper-batter Saba Karim reckons that Team India’s pacers will give the Sri Lankan batters a hard time in the pink-ball Test that starts in Bengaluru on Saturday. According to Karim, Lanka have some talented batters but lack the experience to stand up to India’s quality bowling.

The day-night encounter at the Chinnaswamy Stadium will be India’s third pink-ball Test at home. They defeated Bangladesh in their maiden pink-ball Test in Kolkata in 2019 and thumped England in Ahmedabad last year.

Previewing the Bengaluru Test, Karim said on the Khelneeti podcast that the pink ball will make life tougher for Sri Lanka’s batters. He explained:

“Sri Lanka’s batting is weak and they have an inexperienced line-up. Angelo Mathews has experience but he hasn’t been able to score too many runs. They are still in the building stage with regards to their batting. Yes, Sri Lanka have some talented batters but our pace bowling is becoming fearsome.”
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Giving India’s bowlers the upper hand in the Test, Karim elaborated:

“We have bowlers who can generate pace and movement. It will be very difficult for Sri Lanka to compete with them given the circumstances. Even if they are able to get past the pacers, India have two effective spinners as well, who are wicket-takers. India have a formidable bowling attack. And against the pink ball, under lights, it will be an even tougher task for Sri Lanka.”

The hosts hammered Sri Lanka by an innings and 222 runs in the first Test in Mohali. Responding to India’s 574 for 8 declared, the visitors were all-out for 174 in their first innings. Asked to follow-on, they were bowled out for 178.

“Lakmal and Fernando can be dangerous with the pink ball” - Nikhil Chopra on Sri Lanka’s chances

Admitting that India have the upper hand, former off-spinner Nikhil Chopra asserted that Sri Lanka can compete if their bowlers utilize the pink ball and the conditions.

Chopra urged the Lankans to come up with the belief that they can make an impact. Looking forward to the day-night Test, he said:

“If they (Sri Lanka) have the new ball and they are bowling in the evening, (Suranga) Lakmal and Vishwa Fernando can be dangerous with the pink ball, especially the left-armer (Fernando) who brings the ball back in. Dushmantha Chameera is also a good option. You can beat the batters with pace considering the makeup of the pink ball.”

The 48-year-old added:

“I hope Sri Lanka go in with confidence and belief into the Test match. There will be help for the bowlers for sure, given that it will be a day-night Test. But they need to show the intensity, which was missing in the first Test.”

Before hammering them in the first Test in Mohali, India had inflicted a 3-0 whitewash on the Lankans in the T20I series as well.

Edited by Samya Majumdar


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