The third Test in the Sri Lanka v India series will be played at the SSC Stadium in Colombo from August 28. The Sri Lanka v India 3rd Test betting tips & predictions can be found below.
India won by 117 runs
If India had failed to convert from a winning position at Galle and gone down 1-0, they completed all formalities in the second Test and ensure the series was levelled coming into the third and the final Test at the SSC in Colombo.
It was an excellent showing from India. First KL Rahul’s century and captain Virat Kohli’s fifty ensured they got to almost 400 in their first innings before R Ashwin and Amit Mishra ran through the Sri Lankan side to help India take the lead. This was after Angelo Mathews got himself well-set and looked like Sri Lanka might even score 500 at one stage.
In the second innings, it was the turn of Ajinkya Rahane to hit a century batting at his new slot at three and that pushed the target for Sri Lanka to 413. Barring Dimuth Karunaratne (46), none of the other batsmen passed 23 and Sri Lanka lost seven wickets for almost nothing in the first session of the final day.
Now Sri Lanka are done with the emotions of bidding Kumar Sangakkara a farewell and they can try to go about their business in a workman-like fashion.
It has also been seen that batting first is a huge plus on Sri Lankan pitches and given how the SSC has played recently, it could be a big advantage yet again. In a Test played here last year, Sri Lanka batted first and made 320 and conceded a 12-run lead to Pakistan but still went on to win by 105 runs.
Rangana Herath took 14 wickets in that encounter.
We are looking at a few changes to both sides, India and Sri Lanka.
India first, and they have lost at least two of their players in Murali Vijay and Wriddhiman Saha, both to hamstring injuries. While Saha’s replacement is a straightforward one in Naman Ojha, who comes in for Vijay might not be an easy call.
Cheteshwar Pujara should be the obvious answer but that would mean he will need to open the innings. Now Pujara has done that before but the reason why he was dropped in the first place was his lack of technique against the incoming delivery, something he will be tested with in this Test too.
The other option is Karun Nair, who was flown in with Ojha as cover for the Vijay injury.
Then there’re question-marks over Stuart Binny’s role but captain Virat Kohli took pains to point out how well he bowled in the first innings of the Test. He could get another game here it seems.
For Sri Lanka, Kumar Sangakkara’s retirement should bring in Upul Tharanga but that might not be their only one. Jehan Mubarak’s lack of form means he could lose his place in the side to Kusal Perera. Perera is a hard-hitting batsman and could also keep wickets in place of Dinesh Chandimal, thereby easing his role.
Sri Lanka v India Tests head to head:
India hadn’t won a Test series in Sri Lanka since 1993 but this could be a good chance. India are 15-7 on head to head in Tests against Sri Lanka overall, but the previous win was just their fifth in this country.
Sri Lanka v India 3rd Test betting tips:
India to win: 13/8
Kohli to be India’s top batsman: 3/1
Match starts at 1000 am local time (0430 hours GMT) on August 28.