Sri Lanka unlikely to break Test duck in India

Published : 9:05 am  November 15, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 


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Sri Lanka have never won a Test in India and with Virat Kohli’s men on a run of near-flawless home-form the visitors are unlikely to break their duck in a three-match series starting in Kolkata on Thursday (16).

In a bumper home season, which started in September 2016, India won 10 of 13 Test matches, with their solitary defeat coming against Steve Smith’s Australia.

Even at home, Sri Lanka have struggled against India losing 0-9 across all three formats in July and August.
Under Kohli, the world’s top-ranked Test side have won eight consecutive series dating back to 2015 and Sri Lanka look incapable of stopping them from winning a ninth to tie England and Australia for the record for most consecutive Test series wins.

After being hammered at home by India, Sri Lanka then won a two-Test series against Pakistan 2-0 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) but subsequently lost all eight limited-overs matches against the same opponents.

Their Test record in India inspires little confidence as they have failed to record a single victory in 17 matches, the last of which was played eight years ago.

Former Captain Angelo Mathews and spin spearhead Rangana Herath were the only two current squad members who played a part in that 2009 series and Sri Lanka will lean on them heavily once again.

While Sri Lanka’s bowling attack must find a way to stop the likes of Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara from scoring heavily, their batsmen will have to contend with India’s dual spin threat of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

Most sides have found off-spinner Ashwin and left-armer Jadeja too hot to handle but Sri Lanka might be in for an even rougher ride with the pair likely keen to prove a point after being overlooked by selectors for India’s limited-overs sides.

While good news is in short supply for Sri Lanka they will at least be thankful for not having to face 24-year-old all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who is being rested having played non-stop from the Champions Trophy in June.

Pandya made his test debut in the series in Sri Lanka and made a big impact, hitting a maiden fifty and hundred while taking four wickets with his medium pace bowling.

After Eden Gardens hosts the First Test, the two sides will travel to Nagpur and New Delhi for the second and third match.