WI vs SL: 3rd Test, Preview- Chandimal-less Sri Lanka’s final attempt to get Windies’ measure

WI vs SL: 3rd Test, Preview- Chandimal-less Sri Lanka’s final attempt to get Windies’ measure

The Lankans will be keen to win their second Test match in the Island after 2008 and most importantly, draw level in the series, which looks a tad unlikely.

Windies team vs Sri Lanka
Windies team celebrates a wicket. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Windies will enter history as the Caribbean island is all set to host their maiden Test match day after tomorrow when the hosts will cross swords with Sri Lanka at the Bridgetown in Barbados. The visitors won’t be heading into the match with much joy as Dinesh Chandimal, their skipper, was suspended for one Test owing to his attempt to alter the condition of the cherry during the second Test in Gros Islet.

It’s highly unlikely that his suspension will be overturned and hence, a significant amount of experience will be fizzled out of a side which has gasped for breath in the series. Rangana Herath’s split-webbing between his third and fourth finger makes him a doubtful starter for the match as well. The Windies, on the contrary, are in with an opportunity to register a series victory.

Albeit, they stuttered a wee bit in the final day of the last match, they have got every department covered and are the favourites to roll their opponents over. The conditions are most likely to suit the bowling team, especially under the lights. Meanwhile, the Lankans will be keen to win their second Test match in the Island after 2008 and most importantly, draw level in the series, which looks a tad unlikely.

Team Combination

Windies

The Windies are likely to remain unchanged. Kraigg Brathwaite and Devon Smith are the openers with Kieran Powell to follow. The trio hasn’t been in rollicking touch but has ensured that their team strolls along without any hiccups. The onus will be on Shai Hope and Roston Chase to shoulder the middle-order. Shane Dowrich, their leading run-getter, will also need to come to the party.

Shannon Gabriel has been stupendous with the ball and he is expected to be even more effective with the pink ball under the floodlights. Kemar Roach is also a tough nut to crack. Miguel Cummins and skipper Jason Holder will also have their role to play. Devendra Bishoo hasn’t had much to do, but the rival team can’t afford to undermine the wily tweaker.

Predicted XI

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

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka will have to make one forced change as Chandimal has to sit out. Left-hander Danushka Gunathilaka may be roped in place of the veteran. Kusal Perera and Mahela Udawatte are the openers followed by Gunathilaka. Roshen Silva, their leading run-scorer, will have to carry on his form if the visitors are to brush aside Holder’s men.

Suranga Lakmal, the current vice-captain, will be the captain in place of Chandimal. His prowess with the willow will need to come to the fore as well. Lahiru Kumara has been their standout speedster and he will have to step up for his team. Akila Dananjaya is the lone spinner in the side. Kasun Rajitha also impressed in the second Test and needs to replicate his form.

Predicted XI

Kusal Perera, Mahela Udawatte, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Medis, Roshan Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara

Players to watch out for

Shannon Gabriel- Windies

Gabriel has 11 wickets in the series and was the most lethal bowler in the first two Tests. The Lankan batting has stumbled against the Trinidad-born seamer and the visitors will again be up against his venom. The Caribbean team has strained in Test cricket over the last few years and Gabriel will be keen to shoulder them to a morale-boosting series victory with another strong show.

Kusal Mendis- Sri Lanka

Mendis has notched 238 runs in the four innings at an average of 59.50 and has been one of his team’s bright spots. He faltered in the first innings of the Port of Spain Test and has been on a run-churning spree ever since. In the absence of Chandimal, the right-hander has to take the mantle and carry on with his rich vein of form.

Head to Head

Played 19, Windies – 4, Sri Lanka – 8, Draw, 7

In West Indies

Played – 8, Windies – 4, Sri Lanka – 1, Draw – 3

Stat Attack

Sri Lanka have won only one Test match in the last 25 years without either of Murali and Herath in the playing XI. They defeated Bangladesh by 288 runs in the 2002 Colombo Test in the absence of both Murali & Herath.

Last time Windies won a Test series against a team other than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe was against New Zealand in 2012 at home.

Match Timings: 00:30 IST, 19:00 GMT

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