India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd Test: Can Sri Lanka topple India or will Kohli’s men continue the domination




What happened earlier?

When Sri Lanka came to India for the series, nobody gave them much of a chance. India had earlier visited the Island and whitewashed them across all the formats during the tour.They had their upper hand during the Kolkata test after their bowlers bowled out star-studded Indian batting lineup for 172 runs. From thereon, Kohli’s men haven’t looked back in the series. Sri Lanka did manage to draw the first game at the Eden Gardens, courtesy Niroshan Dickwella, whom Kohli lauded for his attitude after the first game.

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2017

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2017

In the second game, it was India all over. The spin-twin were back to work along with fiery Ishant Sharma who was in the side replacing Bhuvneshwar Kumar as the latter was getting married. Fifth double century in his career from skipper Kohli, centuries from Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma helped India post a huge total. Indian bowling unit combined during Sri Lanka’s second inning and Sri Lanka were done and dusted losing the game by an innings and 239 runs.

Teams meet at Firoz Shah Kotla for the last Test

Sri Lanka

Both the sides now reach the capital city Delhi for the final Test. Sri Lanka has a lot to ponder upon ahead of the game. They got a massive jolt with their star spinner Rangana Herath missing out the game due to an injury. Sri Lanka called Jeffrey Vandersay to replace the 39-year-old Herath. Sri Lankans have been a terrible visitor in Tests in India as they’re yet to register a win. Their abject batting has not helped their cause even a bit during the series. During the Nagpur game, in their second innings, Lankan batters were getting out playing some horrible shots.

Sri Lanka’s former skipper Angelo Mathews, one of the experienced players of the side is having a bad time in India as he failed to make any impression with the bat. Dimuth Karunaratne and skipper Dinesh Chandimal are the only batsmen who have managed to survive a bit against the Indian bowling unit and Sri Lanka would hope for a longer inning from the two. Lahiru Thirimanne after his half-century in Kolkata haven’t had much success in the series as he continues to get out to terrible shot selection. With De Silva in the side, Sri Lanka may field the 26-year-old right-hander for the final game.

Suranga Lakmal bowled exceedingly well in the first game at Kolkata but could not emulate his performance in the next game. Sri Lanka will hope for a better performance from the bowlers if they wish to contain India’s powerful batting unit. Considering the final game of the series, Jeffrey Vandersay may have to wait for his debut as Lanka would want someone with some experience on the side instead of a debutant fighting out against mighty Indian batting unit which means Lakshan Sandakan may get a game.

As per Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal, they can still win this game. During the press conference, he said that Indians are thinking about the next series but are thinking about the current game.

India

Indians are on a roller coaster ride at the moment. They are winning almost everything which is coming their way. They have had Sri Lanka rattled in Nagpur. At the moment, though they’re suffering from a problem of plenty at the top as Shikhar Dhawan joins the team. Vijay scored a brilliant hundred in the comeback game and that gives skipper Kohli a worrisome time as to which player he should go with at the top. Vijay who missed games due to the injury has made a terrific comeback and India may stick with Rahul and Vijay.

Ahead of South Africa series, India might be worried a bit or two about Ajinkya Rahane’s form. Rahane has scored just 6 runs in the 3 innings of the series. Apart from Rahane’s form, India has a perfectly settled middle order.

In the first game, it was the fast bowlers who did all the damage as it was overcast conditions in Kolkata. Shami who may return to the side replacing Umesh Yadav which will mean that all the seamers have had the chance of playing in two games. With seamers bowling consistently well, the spin duo’s workload gets a bit lesser. But they actually love to bowl a lot of overs. Ashwin became quickest to 300 wickets during the Nagpur game would love to continue demolishing the batsman in the game which starts Saturday morning 9.30 India time.

Probable XI Sri Lanka

Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal (c), Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dasun Shanaka, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Lahiru Gamage, Suranga Lakmal

Probable XI India

KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami

The final assessment

India would want to continue their winning streak which will make them stand beside the Australians with respect to series wins in a trot while the Lankans would be willing to change the fortunes of the side and try to register their first win in India.

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