Sri Lanka had hoped this might be one in all their simpler away excursions this 12 months. West Indies’ dwelling document was modest; Sri Lanka’s Take a look at aspect was selecting up some momentum. However the Take a look at in Port-of-Spain wasn’t merely a defeat, it was a decimation. Twice West Indies’ quicks scythed by the guests’ prime order. Though Sri Lanka had fielded 5 frontline bowlers, they nonetheless couldn’t capitalise on having the opposition 147 for five on the primary day. On a batting observe, solely Kusal Mendis might muster a rating of over 45 – and even that, solely having given two clear-cut probabilities.
When these groups had final met, in Sri Lanka in 2015, West Indies had proven flashes of particular person brilliance however had failed to return collectively as a workforce. Within the first Take a look at, they’d no such issues. Dedication to the workforce trigger was seen in the best way Devendra Bishoo and Kemar Roach buckled down alongside Shane Dowrich, to haul West Indies to a formidable rating. Even with the ball, there have been unlikely contributors – Roston Chase working by Sri Lanka’s tail on the fifth day, after the quicks had knocked out the highest order.
Whereas the hosts surge, Sri Lanka have tactical inquiries to reply. Is the five-frontline bowler technique price persisting with, given Dilruwan Perera’s modest returns with the ball? Kusal Perera is more likely to make approach for Dhananjaya de Silva on the prime of the innings, however can Sri Lanka accommodate Kusal decrease down the order, now that Angelo Mathews has left the tour? And is the assault dynamic sufficient? Or does it require the insertion of Akila Dananjaya?
Nonetheless Sri Lanka chooses to reply these questions, they are going to be in flux – Lahiru Gamage additionally having left the Caribbean, with a fractured finger.
West Indies are within the uncommon place of getting to observe up a supremely dominant efficiency. One reality that will give Sri Lanka some hope is that it has been nearly 4 years, and 31 Exams, since West Indies gained back-to-back matches.
Sri Lanka LWDDL (accomplished matches, most up-to-date first)
West Indies WLLDW
Within the highlight
Whereas the opposition struggles with balancing their XI, the person who ensures West Indies haven’t any such points is Jason Holder. He was a part of his workforce’s the first-innings resistance with the bat in sport one, earlier than supporting the frontline bowlers by the rest of the Take a look at. That he’s rising in confidence as a pacesetter was evident from his first-innings declaration – pulling the batsmen out with the rating at 414 for eight, to be able to bowl at Sri Lanka late on the second day. His batting common is on a delicate ahead march, however it’s a breakdown of his bowling figures that gives the largest shock. In West Indies victories, Holder averages a staggering 17.69, in comparison with his common of over 50 in drawn and misplaced Exams. If Holder will get wickets, West Indies are usually aggressive.
It was a shock that Lahiru Kumara took twice as many wickets as another Sri Lanka bowler in Trinidad. Though he’s nonetheless vastly indisciplined, the tempo and bounce he generated made him efficient on a largely unresponsive observe. Kumara’s difficulty, although, has been consistency. He excites every so often, however can simply as simply go wicketless and leak 100 runs within the subsequent match. With Gamage out of the aspect, Sri Lanka are determined for Kumara to offer the identical depth in St Lucia that he had proven in Trinidad.
Devon Smith’s comeback Take a look at didn’t go nicely. However it’s potential West Indies will give him one other shot on the prime of the order, which is able to, after all, maintain Shimron Hetmyer out of the XI. If Hetmyer does play, he’ll in all probability bat at No. three and Powell will open the innings once more. Elsewhere, West Indies are unlikely to make adjustments.
West Indies (potential): 1 Kraigg Brathwaite, 2 Devon Smith, three Kieran Powell, Four Shai Hope, 5 Roston Chase, 6 Shane Dowrich (wk), 7 Jason Holder (capt), eight Devendra Bishoo, 9 Miguel Cummins, 10 Kemar Roach, 10 Shannon Gabriel
If Dhananjaya de Silva performs, Sri Lanka not solely achieve a batsman averaging over 45 after 13 Exams (although his greatest performances have are available in Asia), in addition they have a half-decent offspinner within the prime six. Maybe this may immediate them to return to a 7-Four mixture, fielding an additional batsman instead of one other bowler. Dilruwan Perera, probably the most orthodox of Sri Lanka’s spinners, additionally stands to lose his spot to Akila Dananjaya – a far much less skilled however extra aggressive possibility.
Sri Lanka (potential): 1 Kusal Mendis, 2 Mahela Udawatte, three Dhananjaya de Silva, Four Roshen Silva, 5 Dinesh Chandimal (capt), 6 Kusal Perera, 7 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), eight Rangana Herath, 9 Suranga Lakmal, 10 Akila Dananjaya, 11 Lahiru Kumara
Pitch and situations
The climate is forecast to worsen in Gros Islet over the weekend, probably inflicting interruptions.
Seam bowlers had completed nicely within the most-recent Take a look at performed at this venue – the India-West Indies Take a look at of 2016. Given the house quicks’ dominance in Trinidad, a full of life pitch could possibly be anticipated.
Stats and trivia
Rangana Herath is now on 418 Take a look at wickets, making him the most-successful fingerspinner in Take a look at historical past (Muttiah Muralitharan primarily used his wrist to impart spin, although he was an offspinner). Solely Murali, Shane Warne and Anil Kumble sit forward of him on the spinners’ checklist.
West Indies’ final back-to-back Take a look at victories got here in opposition to Bangladesh, at dwelling, in September 2014.
Three of the 5 Exams performed in Gros Islet have been attracts, however the two most-recent matches have produced outcomes. West Indies beat Bangladesh there in that 2014 sequence, then misplaced to India in 2016.