India has started it away test series saga on a great note recording a thumping victory over the Host Sri Lanka.
After registering a record 304 run victory against Sri Lanka in Galle, India will head into the second test high on confidence. Having missed out KL Rahul due to viral fever, Abhinav Mukund made his way into the playing 11 and didn’t fail to impress; with a well played 81 in the second innings. The success of the top 4 may just have given skipper Virat Kohli a welcome headache as KL Rahul is set to return as he hit the nets yesterday after recovering from a viral fever.This test also marks the 50th test for 29-year-old Cheteshwar Pujara
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, has their fair share of a headache as all-rounder Asela Gunaratne fractured his thumb during the first Test in Galle, and veteran bowler and stand-in captain Rangana Herath also injured his middle finger. Some news of relief is that Dinesh Chandimal is all set to return.
Usually, last minute injuries can dampen the spirit of the team, but the way in which Shikhar Dhawan and Abhinav Mukund performed in place of Murali Vijay and KL Rahul shows the depth in the squad that India has. Now that KL Rahul is set to return, that will only be icing on the cake for Team India.
Sri Lanka will have to put the crushing loss at Galle behind and turn things around at the R Premadasa
Batting first seems to be the best course of action in Colombo as bowling first in recent years hasn’t provided a positive result.
The most recent Test here was in August last year, when India won by 117 runs late on day five, with Sri Lanka failing to resist despite a century on the last day by skipper Angelo Mathews.
Squad: Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Angelo Mathews, Upul Tharanga, Dimuth Karunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, Dananjaya de Silva, Danushka Gunathilaka, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Nuwan Pradeep, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Malinda Pushpakumara, Lakshan Sandakan and Lahiru Thirimanne.
India’s Squad: Virat Kohli (capt.), Shikhar Dhawan, K. L. Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-capt.), Rohit Sharma, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, W Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav and Abhinav Mukund.
Main Image: BCCI.TV