To be blatantly honest and fair, the contest at Galle was an absolute mismatch. Sri Lanka, once the giant powerhouse at home, were humbled against a ruthlessly invading outfit in the form of India. A defeat by a margin of 304 just goes on to suggest that.
Knowing Virat Kohli, the Indians will look to seal the series in Colombo and with the recent form anything to go by, another mauling seems to be on cards.
Below, we have a look at the predicted Indian playing XI for the final:
One can expect an elegant KL Rahul, the batsman, to walk back into the XI given he’s fully fit. The Karnataka opener was in superb form against Australia earlier this year, having scored six-half centuries in seven innings. During the side’s previous tour of Sri Lanka, Rahul was the Man of the Match at SSC, Colombo, the very venue of his comeback Test.
The stakes are high as far as expectations from Dhawan are concerned. The southpaw simply ravaged into the Sri Lankan attack as his blazing 190 on an opening day took the hosts by storm. With an ideal opportunity to enhance his Test career for good, Dhawan should maintain consistency for the next game.
Pujara has already established himself as India’s most dependable batsman in recent times. Given that tag, performing on every occasion becomes a routine expectation from this batting beast. He was superb at Galle and his knock of 153 was a class apart.
Virat Kohli : ©
The Indian captain roared back to form with a fluent ton in the second innings just when his critics were coming out of their shells. Known for his aggression, skipper Virat Kohli will be eager to seal the series in Colombo itself and personally play another scintillating knock with the bat.
Ajinkya Rahane :
Rahane might have missed out from the three figure mark at Galle, but he can always make up for that considering how fluent he is. The vice captain of the side has been in some sparkling form of late and a big score can be expected from Rahane’s bat.
Ashwin remains the side’s biggest asset in this form of the game. Apart from his magical numbers with the ball, all rounder has some really respectable numbers with the bat too, making him such a valuable player. The last time India played here, Ashwin ran through the Sri Lankans in the second innings.
Looking to up the scoring rate, Saha was caught for 16 in the first Test and wasted a good start. A consistent performer for India, Saha will be looking to add some crucial runs lower down the order.
The debutant at Galle enjoyed a near perfect debut, scoring a half century and then picking up a wicket. However, it would be more desirable to have him bowl more overs, as that would bring the best out of this all rounder.
Jadeja is slowly but steadily out-bowling Ashwin on many occasion. The competition between the spin twins remains top notch, and Jadeja will once again look to have some serious numbers in his wickets column.
Shami made a successful return to Test cricket at Galle and bowled superbly. With Colombo too bound to assist the pacers, another good outing from him is expected.
Umesh did pick up an early wicket in the previous game, but he remained a tad expensive. He would surely look to improve on that aspect while maintaining his threat as a wicket taking bowler.