Eden Gardens, Kolkata
November 16 to 20; 09:30 IST
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The principle image
India and Sri Lanka return to the battleground simply a few months after the final battle culminated within the former successful 9-Zero on mixture. India have had the higher of their neighbours for the most effective a part of the final decade, however by no means earlier than have been the matches so one-sided and predictable. As that tour progressed, Sri Lankan cricket needed to be sympathised with, given its state on and off the pitch.
70 days on, tough to see how the Islanders’ go to may be totally different from the time they hosted India. A change of setting would possibly really assist Dinesh Chandimal and co., in that they may profit from not taking part in in entrance of their very own followers. In any other case, they don’t actually have a lot of their favour. Sure, you’ll be able to level to their successful the Check collection towards Pakistan within the UAE, however in addition they had gone into the house Check collection towards India, having crushed Zimbabwe on the R Premadasa Stadium, the place they chased down a report 388 for victory.
Kusal Mendis (poor run of kind) and Nuwan Pradeep (health issues) haven’t been picked within the 15-man squad, which in any other case is much like the one named for the house Check collection again in July-August. Angelo Mathews has returned to the nationwide aspect after lacking the UAE tour attributable to a calf harm, however he’s unlikely to bowl within the Exams. On the bowling entrance, Rangana Herath will as soon as once more be relied on closely, not solely as a result of the situations are more likely to go well with him extra but additionally the opposite bowlers don’t carry the specter of this 39-year-old left-arm orthodox spinner. Sri Lanka, we have to reiterate, are gentle opposition with little or no, if in any respect, ammunition within the batting and bowling departments.
India, however, have greater than a handful of gamers—particularly Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, and Umesh Yadav; Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha are Check specialists—returning to the Check fold after both recovering from accidents or having not been a part of the limited-overs sides. Hardik Pandya, who had been named within the Check squad initially, was launched final Friday, within the identify of relaxation. Now, the gamers coming again is likely to be a bit of rusty to begin off with, however do Sri Lanka have the armoury to take benefit? Not fairly.
For India, this would be the final house collection shortly and you may be relaxation assured that Virat Kohli and his males shall be motivated to log off a vastly profitable house season on a successful word.
One of many components to look ahead to come November 16 is the Eden Gardens pitch, which has undergone a large transformation since being relaid final calendar yr. It’s quick, presents good bounce and the quick bowlers, within the three matches (one Check and two ODIs) since being relaid, have loved mind-boggling returns: they’ve taken 51 of the wickets to have fallen, with spinners taking solely 22 wickets. And in keeping with stories, the Kolkata pitch for the primary Check match has such an amazing quantity of grass that it’s barely discernable. The climate forecast for the primary two days of the Check match (November 16 and 17) says a chance of rain and thunderstorm, although the final three days must be sunny and humid.
IND: WWWWD (final 5 Check matches, from left to proper)
1st Check: India vs Sri Lanka taking part in XI
The pitch for the primary Check is filled with grass and even when a few days stay for the beginning, not the entire grass will come off. And on a seamer-friendly pitch, each groups should resolve between taking part in a further batsman or a quick bowler.
From India’s perspective, with the pitch sporting an amazing quantity of grass, they may suppose twice about integrating Rohit Sharma, who in all probability will discover a place in any other case. However Ishant Sharma, who’s now the captain of the Delhi Ranji Trophy crew, is likely to be the beneficiary of the grassy Eden Gardens pitch. Ishant hasn’t performed any of India’s final 4 Exams and has the situations in his favour to show a degree.
On the high of the order, with Murali Vijay returning to the squad, Shikhar Dhawan, who had changed him within the squad for the three-Check collection towards the Lankans of their den, will make method for the Tamil Nadu opener. Vijay scored a 140 for Tamil Nadu within the Ranji Trophy fifth spherical match towards Odisha final week and shall be excessive on confidence.
Potential India taking part in 11 for the first Check: 1 Virat Kohli (c), 2 Murali Vijay, three Lokesh Rahul, four Cheteshwar Pujara, 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Ravichandran Ashwin, 7 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), eight Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Umesh Yadav, and 11 Ishant Sharma
With opening batsman Kaushal Silva dropped from the squad that was named for the two-Check collection towards Pakistan, his spot would possibly effectively go to wicketkeeper-batsman Sadeera Samarawickrama. Angelo Mathews is a like-for-like substitute for the dropped Kusal Mendis, whereas a scarcity of choices at No. three would possibly give Lahiru Thirimanne one other alternative regardless of his failures towards Pakistan and within the tour match towards the Indian Board President’s XI. Sri Lanka, like India, would possibly area three seamers too, which means Vishwa Fernando and Lahiru Gamage are more likely to discover locations within the taking part in XI.
Potential Sri Lanka taking part in XI: 1 Dinesh Chandimal (c), 2 Dimuth Karunaratne, three Sadeera Samarawickrama, four Lahiru Thirimanne, 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 7 Dilruwan Perera, eight Rangana Herath, 9 Suranga Lakmal, 10 Lahiru Gamage, and 11 Vishwa Fernando
On paper, India are the superior outfit who’ve kind and assets firmly on their aspect. This Indian crew are additionally a vastly motivated bunch and won’t take Sri Lanka calmly, the type of angle which doesn’t bode effectively for the guests. The Lankan Lions, for my part, don’t have sufficient firepower to get the higher of India in a “five-day” contest.