WI vs SL: 2nd Test, Preview – Shaky Sri Lanka aim to settle scores in St. Lucia

Windies lead the 3-match series 1-0.

Windies players celebrate
Windies players celebrate. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Team Sri Lanka suffered a heavy defeat in the first Test of their tour of the Caribbean islands. Coming in to the three-match series, the visitors hoped to give a stiff competition to the Windies side, who have largely struggled with their fortunes in the longest format of the game in the recent times. Despite the fact that they are in the transition phase, they hoped for an impressive show in Trinidad.

However, as the action panned out in the first Test, the Windies team steamrolled Sri Lanka by 226 runs to go 1-0 up in the series. With series on the line, the action now moves to Gros Islet for the second Test. The match serves as an ideal opportunity for the Windies side to register a morale-boosting series win at home.

Over the last couple of years, they have failed to give joyful series results to their crowds. On the other hand, Sri Lanka, who felt they had found their mojo in Test cricket with a series win over Pakistan in UAE last season, will be out to prove that their win against Pakistan was not an off shot. If they lose the game, the series will be in the Windies corner with 2-0 scoreline. Expect a close contest in the game with the stakes being high in the game.

Team Combination

Windies

The hosts found a very good combination in the first Test. Devon Smith and Kraigg Brathwaite had decent outings with the bat as openers. They are likely to retain their places with Kieron Powell and Shai Hope taking the middle order duties. Roston Chase, owing to his impressive run in Test career thus far, is likely to bat higher in the batting order.

Meanwhile, wicketkeeper-batsman Shane Dowrich looked extremely sublime with the willow in the first Test to retain his place too. Devendra Bishoo will continue to be the leading spinner while Jason Holder will lead the pace attack with Miguel Cummins and Kemar Roach joining him.

Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan batsmen struggled big time in the first Test. Barring Kusal Mendis, no other batsman looked comfortable at the crease. Mendis is set to retain his place and is likely to be joined by Dhananjaya de Silva as his opening partner. De Silva has joined the squad and is likely to replace Kusal Perera.

Meanwhile, Lahiru Gamage’s off time with the ball in hand in the previous game combined with his injury update could see him make way for someone like Kasun Rajitha. Also, the team can think of replacing Gamage with an extra spinner in the form of Akila Dananjaya.

Predicted XI:

Windies

Kraigg Brathwaite, Devon Smith, Kieron Powell, Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Jason Holder (c), Devendra Bishoo, Kemar Roach, Miguel Cummins, Shannon Gabriel.

Sri Lanka

Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal (c),Kusal Perera, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara.

Players to watch out for

Roston Chase – Windies

Roston Chase made it to the Windies side as a spin bowling option. But with impressive batting performances against India and Pakistan in the last couple of seasons has seen him cement his spot in the lineup as an all-rounder. Chase, however, has lost his touch with the bat to some extent in the recent times. He will be expected to be back to form with the bat and is likely to get a promotion in the batting order too.

Dinesh Chandimal – Sri Lanka

With the team down and out in the first Test, the onus will be on the skipper Dinesh Chandimal to come up with a better show in the remaining fixtures. He got decent starts in both the innings in the first Test but failed to score a fifty. The young team will look up to players like Dinesh Chandimal for an inspired showing.

Head to Head

Played 18, Windies – 4, Sri Lanka – 8, Draw, 6

In West Indies

Played – 7, Windies – 4, Sri Lanka – 1, Draw – 2

Stat Attack

Kusal Mendis has scored 1,818 Test runs. He needs 182 more to become the 18th Sri Lankan player to reach the 2,000 runs milestone.

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