India vs Sri Lanka: 5 Lankan players to watch out for in the Test series
It’s been about 8 years since Sri Lanka last visited India for a full-fledged tour (or even a bilateral series). And a lot has changed since then, especially for Sri Lanka. Their greatest stalwarts have retired which has resulted in the team going into transition.
In September this year (after they were trounced 9-0 by India in all formats), the Lankans were under severe scrutiny due to their lacklustre performances. However, the 2-match Test series in the UAE against Pakistan changed everything. They managed to pull off something which no other team could – win a series in the UAE (they won 2-0).
Thus, with Sri Lanka high on confidence, India can expect a stiffer challenge than what they faced four months ago as the visiting Lankan team have managed to arrest the winless slide, at least in Test cricket.
With the 3-match Test series starting on the 16th of November at the Eden Gardens, we look at 5 Sri Lankan players to watch out for in the series.
#5 Dilruwan Perera
The right-arm off-spinner endured a torrid series against India at home where he picked up only two wickets in the four innings he bowled in three Test matches. He was wayward, expensive and ineffective as the Indian batsmen plundered 380 runs in the 93 overs he bowled across the series.
But Sri Lanka persisted with him for the Pakistan series and it reaped rewards. He was outstanding with both the bat and ball. But it was his contributions with the ball that helped him and Sri Lanka. He returned with 12 wickets in two Tests at an average of 25.67. He looked in good rhythm, provided very good support to Rangana Herath and never released the pressure from his end.
With Sri Lanka playing 5 bowlers, it meant that Perera had to bat at No. 7 and he has responded very well. In fact, the year 2017 has been a decent one for the off-break bowler as far batting is concerned. He has scored 452 runs at an average of almost 35.
So, with Sri Lanka set to continue the 5-bowler theory, the extra responsibility of batting at No. 7 will continue for Perera in addition to the responsibility of doing the bulk of the bowling.