Sri Lanka vs India, 3rd Test: A battle for supremacy
After the win at the P. Sara Oval over Sri Lanka, India will look to come out all guns blazing in the third and final Test against Sri Lanka at the SSC Oval. This will be Sri Lanka’s first Test without their best batsman Kumar Sangakkara, who retired after the previous Test.
Sangakkara retired to a tearful farewell in front of his home fans, and during his farewell speech he told captain Angelo Mathews that Sri Lanka has an amazing team and an amazing future ahead. This would have sent Mathews into a deep thought and to ponder over the fact of how having lost their best batsman to retirement, would still make the team an amazing one.
For a fact, Sri Lanka do have some extremely competent youngsters, with a mix of a few experienced players like Rangana Herath and Dhamika Prasad who can carry forward the team mantle. Matthews will not find too many battle-hardened players in his team, but players like Dinesh Chandimal, Kaushal Silva, and Lahiru Thirammane will have to step and consistently perform to take pressure off the shoulders of Herath and Mathews.
It is imperative they start performing from the coming Test onwards as they will want to finish the series on a high and convincing note. Sri Lanka will not have their spinner Tharindu Kaushal who was injured Umesh Yadav’s bouncer. The home team will also have to change their batting order with their dependable Kumar Sangakkara retired now.
India will also have to change their team as both Murali Vijay and Wriddhiman Saha are injured. The loss of both of them has given Karun Nair and Naman Ojha their Test call-up. Ojha seems a certain starter as he is a wicket-keeper. Captain Kohli has confirmed after the second match that Cheteshwar Pujara will be opening in the final Test with KL Rahul. The Indian batting lineup is taking shape, with most of the batsmen clicking in the previous game at the P. Sara Oval stadium.
India should try and put up a formidable performance against a depleted Sri Lankan side and not let them off the hook like they did at Galle. The visitors should have been up 2-0 in the series by now, but not let the victory at the P. Sara Oval get to their head and play with an open mind and go for the win.
Sri Lanka XI: Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews (Captain), Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Perera (Wk), Dhammika Prasad, Rangana Herath, Tharindu Kaushal/Dilruwan Perera, Nuwan Pradeep
India XI: Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Naman Ojha (Wk), Stuart Binny, R Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav