Confident India take on vulnerable SL

On the back of a strong performance in the West Indies and England in the Champions Trophy, the Indian team would be eager to keep up the momentum on the Sri Lankan tour. The tour will consist 3 Tests, 5 ODIs and a one-off T20I with the first Test to begin on 26th July, which will be played at the Galle International Stadium. India will be adjusting to the whites and will face a Sri Lankan side who recently won a nail-biting Test match against Zimbabwe. Sri Lanka looked a bit off-colour in that game but eventually did well to manage a record chase in Asia in Tests. Their chase was inspired by Niroshan Dickwella and Asela Gunaratne and they will be the key players yet again in this series. Captain Dinesh Chandimal is ruled out of the first Test due to pneumonia and Rangana Herath will be leading the Island nation. Sri Lanka will miss Chandimal as a batsman too as he was the one who scripted a special victory for Sri Lanka the last time India toured here with his sublime 162 and helped them overturn a first innings deficit of 193.

India look stronger as compared to the last time they visited Sri Lanka. Captain Virat Kohli has seen more ups than downs in his captaincy tenure so far and looks hungry for more runs than ever before. India’s squad has a strong batting line-up with Rohit Sharma all set to make his return. He was injured during the New Zealand Test series and will be eager to make his mark on this occasion. Hardik Pandya also finds his spot in the squad and it will be interesting to see if India go with the all-rounder. The likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will lead the spin duties but the inclusion of Kuldeep Yadav in the Test squad means the spin duo can’t take it lightly. The chinaman has been extremely impressive and picked up a 4-wicket haul in the practice match against the Sri Lanka Board President. Abhinav Mukund received a call-up to the squad and he might get a chance to open as KL Rahul has been ruled out of the first Test with viral fever.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami might find their spots in the playing XI, leading India’s pace attack. Overall, India have a strong line-up but they wouldn’t want to take the Sri Lankan side lightly. The hosts looked a bit vulnerable against Zimbabwe and they will be looking to improve their skills. Angelo Mathews, who recently quit captaincy will look to solely perform with the bat and has a pretty good record against India. There are some young players in their squad as well who are highly talented and will be eager to prove a point at home. India, look an improved Test side after their recent home success but they will have to convert it in away games.

Stage:
Galle International Stadium will host the first Test of this tour. It’s the same venue where India played its first Test on the last tour which witnessed a Dinesh Chandimal special. India will look to turn it around on this occasion and start the tour on a winning note.

Acts:
Virat Kohli vs Rangana Herath:
The Indian skipper will be up against the skilful Herath who is getting better with age. It will be an interesting battle between Kohli and Herath who will leading their respective sides.

Angelo Mathews vs Ravichandran Ashwin:
Mathews quit captaincy and wants to play as a batsman. In Chandimal’s absence, there will be an added responsibility on his shoulders as a senior player. Ashwin will look to make his stay difficult on the crease.


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