India and Sri Lanka are set to lock horns in the first game of the two-match Test series starting Friday, March 4. The Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali will host the contest.
Sri Lanka, led by Dimuth Karunaratne, is currently sitting pretty at the top of the table in the 2021-23 World Test Championship (WTC), having beaten West Indies 2-0 last year. But the odds are heavily stacked against them going into the series as they are yet to win a Test in India in 20 attempts.
Eight of their losses have been by a margin of an innings. Their spinners were excellent against the Caribbean team and will need to put on a similar showing if Sri Lanka wishes to open their account in India. The likes of de Silva, Karunaratne, and Angelo Mathews need to play their roles as well.
India, in the meantime, will want to start with a win as the game is former skipper Virat Kohli’s 100th Test match. The 33-year-old will be playing under the leadership of Rohit Sharma, who is set to make his Test captaincy debut. Back in January, the Delhi-born Kohli stepped down as India’s Test skipper.
Earlier, it was learned that the game will be played behind closed doors. But it was decided that a 50 percent crowd would be allowed at the venue. The hosts will also go through a transition period after they dropped veterans Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, and Wriddhiman Saha for the series.
India vs Sri Lanka Match Details:
Match: India vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test
Date and Time: March 4, 2022; 9:30 AM IST
Venue: Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali
INDIA VS SRI LANKA PITCH REPORT
The venue in Mohali hasn’t hosted a Test match in the last five years. Ravindra Jadeja won the Player of the Match award for his four-wicket haul, which means that spinners will come into play as the game progresses. The track is also known for providing help to fast bowlers.
INDIA VS SRI LANKA WEATHER REPORT
There is no chance of rain for the time being. The playing conditions will be warm with temperatures around the 32-degree Celsius mark. Clouds will be there on Day three of the game, but the heavens may not open up.
TOP PICKS – BATTERS
Virat Kohli will be playing his 100th Test and wants to make it a memorable one. He is looking to end his century drought in this match. Former India skipper has scored 7962 runs in 99 Test matches at an average of 50.39.
Sri Lanka Dimuth Karunaratne is leading the side well in recent times. He has amassed 5454 runs in 74 Test matches at an average of 39.52 which includes 13 centuries and 27 half-centuries.
TOP PICKS – ALL-ROUNDERS
Ravindra Jadeja missed the last Test series against South Africa due to injury. His addition into the squad brings more balance. He can score crucial runs down the order and is always effective with the ball in the home conditions.
Dhananjaya de Silva has a lot of experience in this format of the game. In his 38 Test matches, he has scored 2472 runs at an average of close to 40 and picked up 25 wickets.
TOP PICKS – BOWLERS
Mohammad Shami can pick wickets irrespective of the conditions, he is the most consistent bowler for India in the longest format over the last few years. He is a good buy for your fantasy teams.
The left-arm spinner, Lasith Embuldeniya has bagged 62 wickets in his just 13 Test matches with the best figures of 7 for 137 in an innings. He can trouble the Indian batters with his variations.
TOP PICKS – WICKET KEEPERS
Rishabh Pant always plays his natural game which is his strength and backing from the team management gives a further boost.
INDIA VS SRI LANKA MATCH PREDICTION
India has been a dominant force over the last four years, especially in home conditions. Sri Lanka hasn’t won a Test on Indian soil in 40 years and it will need a herculean effort from them to eke out a win. India is a firm favorite to win the Test.