Saturday marks the beginning of the third and the final Test between India and Sri Lanka in this test series. India will look forward to creating history. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will try to look like the home side for once in this test series. India have outplayed Sri Lanka in all the departments, in both the matches.
In the first match, India thrashed Sri Lanka by a mammoth 304 runs on a batting paradise. In the second match, this time on a rank turner, India were impressive with the bat and won by an innings. Real concerns for Sri Lanka lied in the fitness of their players. Asela Gunaratne, Nuwan Pradeep, Rangana Herath, all three have injured themselves. With these key players out of the squad, Virat Kohli’s army sure walk in as the favourites for the match. However, Sri Lanka enter a side who gave Team India some trouble in the second innings. They will look to do the same in the third test match. India, on the other hand, have no real problems to face barring Sir Jadeja’s absence. India have looked clinical throughout the series and will look to carry the momentum.
The toss-winning team will have an advantage over their opponents, provided that they capitalise on it. Because of rain, neither teams could make their pre-match training session. Also, there are chances of rain throughout the test match. The pitch had a good covering of grass before the overnight change. Now the surface looks brownish with a trace of grass cover. So once again, we are looking at a batting heaven.
Talking about the teams, India will be making a forced change as Ravindra Jadeja is not going to be a part of the third test match. One of Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel will fill up the spot. Kuldeep Yadav looks like a first choice. Virat Kohli is unlikely to make any other change.
Sri Lanka have a lot of headaches going into the third test. Their spearheads in their respective departments, Herath and Pradeep, are out due to an injury. Sri Lanka will look to strengthen their batting line-up. Lahiru Thirimanne might swoop in for Dhananjaya De Silva. Dushmantha Chameera and Lahiru Gamage have been called up for the third match, thus strengthening their pace department. Also, Lakshan Sandakan might take Malinda Pushpakumara’s place after Malinda’s not-so-impressive debut.
Stats and Trivia:
- If India win the third test, it will be the first time since 1968 that they win three matches in a test series away from home.
- If both, Kuldeep Yadav and Lakshan Sandakan play tomorrow’s match, it will be the first instance since 2004 that both the teams are playing with a Chinaman.
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