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India vs Sri Lanka, 2nd Test Preview: Pink ball under lights adds another level of difficulty for struggling Sri Lanka

Pink ball under lights adds another level of difficulty for struggling Sri Lanka
Pink ball under lights adds another level of difficulty for struggling Sri Lanka
©REUTERS
 

Team India will be further bolstered by the addition of Axar Patel who is back after injury.

India's spotless pink ball record at home

The most exciting part about the test match is that it will be a pink ball affair and will be played under lights at the iconic M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

India have previously played in only two more pink ball test matches at home, both of which they won comprehensively. The first one against Bangladesh brought a victory by an innings and 46 runs.

The second such fixture in India saw them beat a hapless England by 10 wickets at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. England were bundled out for just 12 in their first innings and for just 80 in their second innings, giving India a 10 wicket victory.

More swing, even more spin

There were speculations after the match that the sharp turn on the ball was due to the extra lacquer on the pink ball which is applied to prevent the ball from getting scuffed up thus hampering visibility under lights.

It will be interesting to see the type of pitch India roll out for the second test match given Sri Lanka's obvious weakness against quality spin bowling.

Patel in, Yadav out

Team India will be further bolstered by the addition of Axar Patel who is back after injury. Jayant Yadav was the only weak spoke in the Indian wheel in the first test match and will have to make way for Patel.

India will then have a stellar bowling combination with two quicks in Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami and three spinners who all have decent ability with the bat as Ravindra Jadeja just showed with an unbeaten 175.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel will also give the Sri Lankan batters a hard time. Not to forget what they bring to the table with bat in hand.

Lahiru Kumara out injured

Sri Lanka, too, will have to make one forced change with Lahiru Kumara having injured his hamstring in the first test -- the third instance in three years in test cricket. With the visitors missing another genuine spin bowling option in the first test match Praveen Jayawickrama is all set to join the playing XI.

A happy Indian captain Rohit Sharma had this to say after the last test:

"It was a good start. It was a great game of cricket from our perspective. We ticked all the boxes we wanted to. To be honest I didn't think it is going to be that kind of a Test match which would get over in three days. It was a good batting pitch, there was some turn and some assistance for the seamers as well. Lot of credit to the guys, they bowled very well in tandem, kept the pressure and never made it easier for the Sri Lanka batsmen. We just ensured we applied pressure from both ends. Good signs for India cricket. It will be our second (third) pink-ball Test at home and not many have played, it will be a challenge. Let's see what kind of pitch we are playing and then take it from there."

Karunaratne, Mathews have to take more responsibility

The first test match finished in just three days despite a more or less true batting surface. Given that there will be plenty in it for the bowlers, both spinners and pace bowlers, the Sri Lankan batters will have to play out of their skin in order to compete.

Sri Lanka will expect the likes of Dimuth Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews to use their experience to good effect and challenge the Indian bowlers.

Predicted Playing XIs

India - Rohit Sharma (c), Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah

Sri Lanka - Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Suranga Lakmal, Vishwa Fernando, Lasith Embuldeniya, Praveen Jayawickrama

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