Axar Patel set to return as India eye Test series win over Sri Lanka
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(Cricket news) After winning the first Test in 3 days by an innings and 222 runs, India will take on Sri Lanka in the pink ball Test at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. It will be India's 4th pink ball Test and the first in almost a year. The match is extremely important from the World Test Championship point of view as a draw or loss for India will be a big setback.
India's possible playing XI:
Rohit Sharma(C), Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant(wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.
Bench: Shubman Gill, Priyank Panchal, K.S Bharat, Jayant Yadav, Saurabh Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj
Kuldeep Yadav was released from the squad after Axar Patel was declared fit. Jayant Yadav, who failed to get a wicket in the last game is likely to miss out. His replacement would be Axar but the fact that it is a pink ball match could tempt India to go for Mohammed Siraj as the third seamer. India don't need to make any other change after a brilliant performance in the last Test.
Sri Lanka Possible Playing XI:
Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendes, Angelo Mathews, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella(wk), Praveen Jayawickrama, Lasith Embuldeniya, Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera.
Bench: Dinesh Chandimal, Chamika Karunaratne, Vishwa Fernando, Jeffrey Vandersay, Pathum Nissanka
Lahiru Kumara has been ruled out of the match after his hamstring injury and should be replaced by Chameera. Pathum Nissanka is reportedly going to miss out due to workload management and Kusal Mendis is his ideal replacement. Sri Lanka may go with 2 pure spinners this time around after what happened in the last game.
Weather & Pitch report:
The weather is expected to be clear throughout the five days. There will be dew at night which is a seperate challenge under the lights. The pitch is once again a mystery but it will have assistance for the spinners. The team selection will be very crucial and could determine the outcome of the match. The team that reads the pitch well will have a massive advantage.
India look firm favourites for another big victory but Sri Lanka cannot be counted out just yet. The first day will set the tone and irrespective of the conditions, India may look to bat first and get runs on the board. Sri Lanka needs to be better in all 3 departments of the game to overcome India and secure a draw at the very least.