Sri Lanka will try to strike the right balance in absence of Kumar Sangakkara © Getty Images
Sri Lanka will try to strike the right balance in absence of Kumar Sangakkara © Getty Images

Having lost the second Test in the India vs Sri Lanka 2015 series by a margin of 278 runs, Sri Lanka will be keen to make a few adjustments to the side to go into the decider with the best possible playing XI. Rishad D’Souza tries to foresee what changes the Sri Lankan selectors could make to the side for the third and final Test match at Colombo and lists a likely XI.

Top Order: Sri Lanka will have to persist with Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva, even though their performances as openers have been below par. They have shown stomach for a fight in tough conditions every now and then. Although you would expect your openers to do better, Sri Lanka don’t have the luxury of choice in that spot. At No. 3, as much as Sri Lanka would have liked Kumar Sangakkara to walk out, that is not going to happen and someone is going to have to take the mantle. ALSO READ: India vs Sri Lanka 2015, 3rd Test at Colombo: India likely XI

The third spot is going to be a point of much contemplation. However, Sri Lanka is likely to move Lahiru Thirimanne up the order to fill him in at one down. In the first innings of the first Test at Galle, it was Thirimanne himself who came at fall of first wicket, which was an indicator of what Sri Lanka have in mind for the future. Thirimanne has solid technique and may do well at one down. KL Rahul could do a Rahul Dravid and help balance the side by keeping wickets for India

Middle Order: Angelo Mathews is likely to move into the number four spot where he has occasionally batted in the past. In the post-Sangakkara era, that may become his permanent spot in the line-up. Dinesh Chandimal, who scored a marvellous, unbeaten 162 in the first Test, will probably come in at No. 5. After a string of poor scores at No. 6, it is in best interests of Sri Lanka to drop Jehan Mubarak in favour of a younger and far more prolific Upul Tharanga. In 13 Tests, Mubarak has scored just 385 runs at an average of 17.50. It is not likely that Sri Lanka will want to persist with him for the decider. Tharanga is likely to make a comeback and one could expect all-rounder Dilruwan Perera to come in at No. 7. Karun Nair might have to wait a bit longer to make Test debut

Bowlers: Sri Lanka is likely to persist with the bowling attack consisting Dhammika Prasad, Dushmantha Chameera, Tharindu Kaushal and Rangana Herath. Chameera did not get rich dividends in the previous Test but is young and has good pace. Sri Lanka may give him a longer rope and may want to continue with him in the decider. The presence of all-rounders Mathews and Dilruwan will boost the bowling.

Sri Lanka likely XI: Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews (c), Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Upul Tharanga, Dilruwan Perera, Dhammika Prasad, Dushmantha Chameera, Tharindu Kaushal, Rangana Herath

(Rishad D’Souza, a reporter with CricketCountry, gave up hopes of playing Test cricket after a poor gully-cricket career. He now reports on the sport. You can follow @RDcric on Twitter)