India vs Sri Lanka 2015, 2nd Test at Colombo: Key Battles
India will look to produce their best performance in the second game in order to stay alive in the series.
Virat Kohli dazzled in the first innings of the first Test as he slammed 103 to guide India to 375 © Getty Images
India and Sri Lanka prepare to clash in the second game of the ongoing three-match Test series at P Sara Oval in Colombo on Thursday, August 20. Sri Lanka are currently leading the series 1-0 after a near-miraculous 63-run win in the first Test at Galle. While the intensity of the first Test is such that may not repeat itself in a very long time, let alone in the second Test, India will look to produce their best performance in the second game in order to stay alive in the series. Amit Banerjee predicts some of the key contests that are likely to occur between the two sides in the upcoming game.
Kumar Sangakkara vs Ravichandran Ashwin: The series happens to be Sanga’s swansong in what has been an illustrious career filled with batting milestones that will be very difficult to reproduce in the near future. Naturally, it would be an aim for the legend to perform well in every innings in the ongoing series. He was however, denied that chance by Ashwin, who was in brilliant form in the first Test as he recorded figures of 6 for 46 and 4 for 114, dismissing the great man on both occasions for 5 and 40. Expect a tense clash between the duo in the second match as they try to get the better of the other. India’s failure to find all-rounder in Test cricket hampering their chances
Virat Kohli vs Tharindu Kaushal: Kohli dazzled in the first innings of the first Test as he slammed 103 to guide India to 375, thus helping gain a massive lead of 192. While the turnaround in the Test began with Dinesh Chandimal’s knock, the dismissal of Kohli for 3 in the second innings played its part in the spectacular crumble of the Indian batting order during their chase of the 176-run target. Kohli, a good player of spin, fell to Kaushal (who had match figures of 8 for 181). He will surely want to give a fitting reply in the second Test. Harbhajan Singh should be dropped for India vs Sri Lanka 2nd Test at Colombo
Ajinkya Rahane vs Rangana Herath: Rahane was the only batsman from the Indian middle-order to put up a fight whatsoever in the fourth innings, hitting four boundaries during his 76-ball 36 as he defied a rampaging Herath, providing a brief glimmer of hope to the Indian camp. Herath ultimately got the better of him, finishing with 7 for 48 as India were bundled out for 112. Ravichandran Ashwin’s 6 for 46: Best bowling figures for India in Sri Lanka
Dinesh Chandimal vs Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra: Sri Lanka were all but over when the scoreboard read 95 for 5 in the second innings with the possibility of an innings defeat very much in the cards. Chandimal however, would go on to play the innings of his life, anchoring Sri Lanka with 162 not out, ensuring they reached 367 and give the bowlers a fighting chance. Chandimal was particularly effective against the spin pair of Ashwin and Mishra, both of whom were using the turning pitch to their advantage. Let us see who wins the battle at the P Sara Oval. Virat Kohli scores four centuries in his first four Tests as captain
Virat Kohli vs Angelo Mathews: Let us not forget that the man most anxious for an Indian win would be Kohli, whose career as the captain of the Indian skipper is yet winless. Mathews, on the other hand, will give everything that he has to clinch Sri Lanka’s series victory as soon as possible. A battle of tactics will be on display in the upcoming battle. India vs Sri Lanka 2015, 1st Test at Galle: Statistical highlights
(Amit Banerjee, a reporter at CricketCountry, takes keen interest in photography, travelling, technology, automobiles, food and, of course, cricket. He can be followed on Twitter via his handle @akb287)