Sri Lanka vs India 2017, 2nd Test: India's predicted XI
The 304-run gap between the winning and losing side at Galle exhibited how strong the Indian side have evolved into in subcontinental conditions, and at the same time, how listless the current Sri Lankan line-up look in whites.
Battling with injuries, illness and ill-form, the hosts have a lot on their plate going into the next Test: the return of Dinesh Chandimal is the lone bright spot for them. India, on the other hand, only seem to get better, buoyed further by the return of Lokesh Rahul.
"We like to keep it as a surprise for the opposition", said Virat Kohli, on being asked about the combination for the second Test in the pre-match conference. Despite that, here’s a prediction of India’s line-up for the Colombo Test:
The game of musical chairs at the top of the order will see another new entrant: KL Rahul, who missed the first Test at Galle, is set to return to the fold after recuperating from high fever. The Karnataka batsmen will partner with one of Shikhar Dhawan and Abhinav Mukund, most likely the former, who plundered a career-best 190 in the first innings to celebrate his own comeback.
While Mukund also scored a fine 87 in the second innings, he still hasn’t made his mark in international cricket, having played just six Tests in six years prior to this.
Cheteshwar Pujara, runs flowing in his veins, will follow the opening duo, having reaffirmed his position as perhaps the best Indian batsmen currently with a pleasing 153 in the first innings.