So after almost four months of limited over cricket, India change their jerseys from Blue to White. They would be up against the same team that they were last time around when they had donned their Test whites but with the change in venues. The Virat Kohli’s juggernauts have been at the top of their game and the Sri Lankan team will once again be under the spotlight.
The visitors have not been in the best of form and if they will look at their numbers while playing in India, they would be more depressed. In the 17 Test matches that they have played in India, they are yet to savour the win. They have lost 10 matches out of these 17 (with 7 being drawn) and 8 out of those 10 defeats have come by an innings margin.
India will aim to continue their home domination.
The Indian team has been really dominant in their home conditions and they would like to show no respite for the depleted visitors. Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin will make a comeback into the side after not being considered for the limited overs series against Australia and New Zealand and they both would be raring to make their mark again. Ashwin is just eight wickets shy of the 300 Test wickets and he will become the fastest bowler (in terms of matches played) to achieve the feat.
Hardik Pandya has been rested to cut out on his workload and it would be interesting to note with which combination will the Indian team take the field. As the Eden Gardens pitch is green, the team is expected to play three fast bowlers.
For the visitors, they will take some confidence from the fact that they recently defeated Pakistan in the two-Test match series. They have found the going tough in the recent past and would have to play their A game to make India sweat. Almost everyone has ruled them out of the contest and this could be a blessing in disguise for them as they can play with zero expectation level.
India’s opening position would also be interesting to note and KL Rahul and Murali Vijay should be the first choice openers. Shikhar Dhawan might have to sit out even after performing well in Sri Lanka. If KL Rahul will score another half-century in the first innings of the match, then he will become the first batsman in the history of the game to score eight consecutive half-centuries. Virat Kohli likes to go with five specialist bowlers and he is expected to do the same in the opening match.
Match Prediction: Green Eden Gardens pitch will offer assistance to the fast bowlers especially in the early stages of the Test match. The pitch is expected to ease out after two days and that’s when the spinner’s role will come into play. Teaming winning the toss will look to post a high score on the board. It is expected to rain for the first two days of the Test match.
Toss Prediction: Sri Lanka
Match Winner Prediction: India.
India’s Probable XI: Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.
Sri Lanka’s Probable XI: Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal (c), Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando.
Date and Time: 16 November 2017, 9:30 am IST.
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
Live Telecast: Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3, Hotstar Premium.