The Match against Board President’s XI has ended in a draw, with Samaraweera opting not to enforce the follow on. “Smart Boy”, as Bollywood Villain Ajit might have said, had he been asked to comment on the decision.
The intention was clear: give the younger batsmen a good look at the bowlers before the first test. But which members of this squad are likely to play inthe test series against India? Thirimanne must have done his cause a lot of good, with his century in the second inninings adding to his fifty in the first, but it seems unlikely that he would replace Paranawitana as opener. Prasanna Jayawardene fell cheaply; he could be the main keeper leaving Sangakara to concentrate on his captaincy and batting. Ironically, the two Lankans to impress the most, Tharanga and Mendis, are not in the squad for the first test.
For India, the biggest gain was Yuvraj’s century, because it gives the selectors an opportunity to say, we told you so, to anyone who questions Yuvraj’s selection in the test squad. The Indian XI selects itself. In Zaheer’s absence, and Munaf’s replacing of the injured Sreesanth, India are likely to go with two new ball bowlers and two spinners. The irony for India is that of the non-regular bowlers, barring Dhoni, everyone is a spinner. And Dhoni can’t bowl with his gloves on. Ojha should get in ahead of Mishra, on the back of his showing against the BP XI.
Isn’t there any other wicket taking bowler in India? What happened to all the RP Singhs and Praveen Kumars? What is it about Nehra’s fitness? When he is not on the ground playing for India, he appears to be undergoing some treatment or the other.
For Lanka, the batting line-up selects itself, including Kandamby and Samaraweera from the BP XI. Sri Lanka may have to decide whether or not to play a second spinner to go with Muralidharan, either Herath or Randiv. The seamers should be Malinga, Welegedera and Mathew. If they decided to go with only four bowlers, P. Jayawardene could keep wickets, giving them an extra batting option. Though, it might make better sense to have an additional spinner to drudge away on a hot and humid day against a strong Indian batting on what’s likely to be a flat track, at Galle.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.