Sri Lanka is having a disastrous tour of India, having lost the three-match ODI series and the three-match test series. They were looking to salvage some pride during the two-match test series and head back home with a win under their belt.
The first test turned into another humiliating defeat for Sri Lanka as India won by an innings 222 runs. Sri Lanka has one final chance to redeem itself as they are set to play the second and final test of the series from March 12 to 16 in Bangalore. This is a day/night outing for both teams that will take place at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.
India Massive Betting Favorites
India head into the second test as massive betting favorites. This comes as no surprise given how easily India has dominated Sri Lanka in all three formats of the game. India has odds of 1/12 as betting favorites, while Sri Lanka is huge underdogs with odds of 18/1. The odds of this test ending in a draw are currently at 10/1.
The weather prediction for the day/night test looks good at the moment as 5 full days/nights of play are expected. However, given the day/night test and the pink ball being used, it will be very surprising if the test goes the distance.
India Likely To Stick With Same Squad
India made a few changes for the test series against Sri Lanka, which surprised many people as the selectors decided to drop veterans C Pujara, A Rahane and I Sharma. These three senior players were a mainstay of the test squad but given their performances in the last couple of years and the fact that they are heading towards the end of their careers, the selectors decided to drop them and go with new players.
India is unlikely to make any changes to the playing XI from the first test as they need to get another chance to play together as a team. The first test was dominated by R Jadeja, who returned from a long layoff (due to injury) and showed yet again why he is one of the best all-rounders in all forms of the game.
R Jadeja top-scored for India, making an unbeaten 175 out of 228 balls batting at 7, and took the game away from Sri Lanka as India made a massive total of 574/8d in the first innings. Jadeja then starred with the ball, taking 5 wickets in the first innings and playing a major role in bowling Sri Lanka out for 174 in their first innings.
When India enforced the follow-on, Jadeja once again caused a collapse for Sri Lanka as he picked up 4 wickets in the second innings as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 178 in their second innings. Jadeja went on to get the man of the match award.
India has decided to use H Vihari at 3, promote R Pant to 5, and bring in S Iyer at 6. We expect a similar batting line-up in the second test and the bowling combination to remain the same. J Bumrah and M Shami open the bowling with the pink ball, veteran spinners R Ashwin and R Jadeja bowling bulk of the overs, and getting support from J Yadav.
Sri Lanka Need Experienced Players To Perform
If Sri Lanka is going to pose any challenge to India in the second test, they need their senior players to put their hands up and do a better job. Sri Lankan cricket has suffered during the last few years due to internal politics, the retirement of a few senior players, and the fact that they don’t have a strong captain anymore.
They have a number of young players in the squad who have much potential but are failing to perform when it matters. Former captain Angelo Matthews is the most senior player on the side right now, and he needs to take charge of the batting department and lead from the front. Matthews got a start in the first test but got out just as he was looking to get set.
Current captain and opener D Karunaratne has to dig his heels in and bat for a long time to help Sri Lanka not collapse against the pink ball. Will the Sri Lankans be able to step up in the second test? Will their senior players put their hands up and perform? Or will India once again have an easy victory in the second test?
Our experts will back India to win the second test comfortably and wrap up the test series 2-0!