India will begin their three-match Test series in Sri Lanka with the opening game at Galle from Wednesday. The Sri Lanka v India 1st Test betting tips & predictions have been placed in this article.
Sri Lanka won by 63 runs to go 1-0 up in the series.
Headed into this three-match Test series, as is the case with some of the other series around the world, this one has a sub-text to it.
While there was a small matter of a one-off Test against Bangladesh after the World Cup, this will be the first ever full-length series that Virat Kohli leads India in. And that should make the occasion memorable.
Making it even more memorable is the fact it’s going to be the first of the last two Tests that Kumar Sangakkara plays for Sri Lanka. One of the last two international matches that he plays, with the Lankan legend retiring after the second Test at Colombo.
What that implies is that while one captain could be looking to stamp his authority early in his captaincy career, the other will hope not to lose his players to sentimentality around Sanga’s retirement.
India’s away record in recent times hasn’t been great but that’s more to do with their performances in Australia, England and New Zealand. In Sri Lanka, they will find the pitches to their liking.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka are coming into this series with a shock loss at home to Pakistan. They went down 2-1 after having entered the series as heavy favourites. More particularly, it’s their defeat in the final Test when they set Pakistan a target of 377 that will rankle them.
The absence of Murali Vijay will allow Lokesh Rahul to open the innings with Shikhar Dhawan while Rohit Sharma will take over from Cheteshwar Pujara at number three.
India will enter the game with a five-pronged bowling attack. As far as their bowling line-up is concerned, Ishant Sharma’s five-wicket haul in their tour game against the Sri Lanka Board President’s XI should win him his spot along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Umesh Yadav will be the third seamer while R Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh make it as the spinners.
Sri Lanka could bring in Upul Tharanga in place of Lahiru Thirimanne, even as the others in the top five consist of Kaushal Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews.
Sri Lanka v India Tests head to head:
Overall, these two teams have played in 35 Tests and India lead the head to head 14-6. All of Sri Lanka’s six Test wins against India have come at home, while India have won four matches in Sri Lanka. Interestingly India haven’t won a Test series in Sri Lanka in two decades.
Sri Lanka v India 1st Test betting tips:
Match to end in a draw: 4/5
Virat Kohli to be India’s top batsman: 11/4
Match starts at 5.30 pm local time (1630 hours GMT) on August 14.