India will take on Sri Lanka in the first test match on India’s tour of Sri Lanka 2017 at the Galle International Stadium. A stadium which has given nightmares to Indian cricketers time-to-time, it was a losing Indian side in front of Muttiah Muralitharan when he claimed his 800-wickets in his last test match at the same ground. Then, in 2015, India was looking good to win before collapsed here on just 112-runs in the first test match under Virat Kohli as a full-time captain.
But India hit-back hard on Sri Lanka in the in the next two test matches and went on to win the four match series by 1-2, which marked the beginning of a streak of series wins, which is unabated till now. India has played. India have played 23 test matches after that match, won 17 out of them and have lost just one (against Australia, earlier this year) out of them. Virat Kohli has been unbeaten after 7-series as the test captain.
India’s seasoned opener Murli Vijay is not playing this series due to wrist injury, another opener KL Rahul has been ruled out of the first test owing to viral fever. So, Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane are likely to open the innings for India. Rohit Sharma is expected to make a comeback after playing his last Test against New Zealand last year.
All eyes will be on Ravichandran Ashwin as he is set to play his 50th Test, and it’s enough for captain Kohli to pick Ravindra Jadeja as he ranks number 1 Test bowler in the world, whats’s interesting to see that whether Kuldeep Yadav could make it to the playing XI or not.
The hosts has been going though a tough transitional phase since a long time, their coach Graham Ford has just stepped down as the coach and Nic Pothas has come to do the interim duties, and Chaminda Vaas and Hashan Tillekeratne have been included as bowling and batting consultants, respectively in the supporting staff of the team.
While the weather in Galle can disappoint the cricket fans from both the countries as the forecast does not promise a sunny weather on any of the day of the Test match.
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Abhinav Mukund.
Sri Lanka: Rangana Herath (capt), Kusal Mendis, Upul Tharanga, Nuwan Pradeep, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dimuth Karunaratne, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Asela Gunaratne, Dilruwan Perera, Lahiru Kumara, Suranga Lakmal, Vishwa Fernando, Malinda Pushpakumara.