Sri Lanka © AFP (File Photo)
Sri Lanka will for a win in the second Test to both secure the series and give Kumar Sangakkara a fitting farewell © AFP (File Photo)

Sri Lanka and India lock horns in the second game of the three-Test series at the P Sara Oval, Colombo on Thursday, August 20. The match will be an important one for the island nation, for they bid goodbye to Kumar Sangakkara, arguably the greatest batsman to have ever played for the Lankans. Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews will naturally look for the best possible combination in order to prevent a collapse similar to the first innings at Galle and maximise their chances of giving Sangakkara the fitting farewell that he deserves. Amit Banerjee predicts Mathews’ likely XI for the second Test.

Top-order: Both Kaushal Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne played several crucial knocks before failing at Galle. The pair scored a total of 14 runs in both innings as Sri Lanka were off to horrible starts. Despite that, it is unlikely for them to lose their spots. Mathews will probably want to give them another break ahead of the experienced Upul Tharanga. Vice-captain Lahiru Thirimanne and the retiring Sangakkara are likely to continue at Nos. 3 and 4 respectively, the latter playing his 134th and final Test. PREVIEW: India vs Sri Lanka, 2nd Test at Colombo

Middle-order: Mathews was the top-scorer for the hosts in their disastrous first innings, hitting a 92-ball 64 as they were bowled out for a paltry 183. Continuing in Nos. 6 and 7 will be Jehan Mubarak and Dinesh Chandimal (who may be pushed above Mubarak). Chandimal was the hero of the second Sri Lankan innings, slamming an unbeaten 162 in order to guide the hosts to 367, giving them a fighting chance in the Test. He also scored a first-innings fifty. Mubarak hit a useful 49 to add 82 runs for the seventh wicket with Chandimal, taking his side past the 300-run mark. READ: Series win will be best farewell for Kumar Sangakkara, says captain Angelo Mathews

Bowling unit: Rangana Herath and Tharindu Kaushal will be no-brainers for the selectors. While Chandimal may have turned the game around with his memorable ton, it was Herath who completed the destruction of the Indian team with 7 for 48, routing the Indian team out for a meagre 112. Kaushal too was in fine touch, taking 5 for 134 in the first innings and playing the perfect foil to Herath in the second, taking 3 for 47. With the P Sara track promising a decent bounce, both Nuwan Pradeep and Dhammika Prasad are likely to be retained for the upcoming match. READ: Kumar Sangakkara is a great player, says India captain Virat Kohli

Sri Lanka likely XI: Kaushal Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kumar Sangakkara, Angelo Mathews (c), Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Jehan Mubarak, Rangana Herath, Tharindu Kaushal, Nuwan Pradeep, Dhammika Prasad.

(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)