It is the second Test between India and Sri Lanka. In the Nagpur venue, the visitors won the toss and decided to bat. While Sri Lanka’s line up did not undergo massive changes, India tried to revive its tested formation to tackle the former. In the first Test, Sri Lanka brought an intensive defense against India, putting up strong batting as well as bowling stances. The home team is playing with all-rounder players R Ashwin and R Jadeja.
Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the bowlers in the previous match are rested. Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma are included as bowlers. In overall, India replaced three players. Sharma’s inclusion came up as Shami had to be rested due to a troubled hip. Dhawan could not play the match due to domestic issues making a way to M Vijay. A significant change is the inclusion of Rohit Sharma in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. India selectors wanted to present a support at the lower order. This is also a strategic decision with an eye to South Africa tour.
The reputation of Nagpur ground as a batting pitch might have pressed Sri Lanka captain to elect batting. The pitch would be better for pace bowlers in the first inning. This would change in favor of spinners by the next. Ishant Sharma attacked early in the fifth over taking down opener Samarawickrama. It was a fielding blitz from Pujara at the first slip. It was a high intensity drive for a tough catch sliding Sri Lanka to 20 for 1. By the 15th over, Karunaratne and Thirimanne scratched some runs of India bowlers. R Ashwin bowled just 2 overs in the stretch giving the pitch to Sharma and Umesh Yadav. The spinner bowled occasionally in between the two quicks.
In a pre-match interview, Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal said his team learnt a lot from India’s tour. The captain also revealed that attitude of his players has changed significantly, as they look to break the India duck. Sri Lanka has never won a Test match against India in the country.
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