Sri Lanka had hoped this is able to be one in all their simpler away excursions this yr. West Indies’ residence file was modest; Sri Lanka’s Test facet was choosing up some momentum. But the Test in Port-of-Spain wasn’t merely a defeat, it was a decimation. Twice West Indies’ quicks scythed via the guests’ high order. Although 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 monitor, 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 come back collectively as a workforce. In the primary Test, that they had no such issues. Commitment 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 via Sri Lanka’s tail on the fifth day, after the quicks had knocked out the highest order.
While the hosts surge, Sri Lanka have tactical inquiries to reply. Is the five-frontline bowler technique value persisting with, given Dilruwan Perera’s modest returns with the ball? Kusal Perera is more likely to make manner for Dhananjaya de Silva on the high 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?
However 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 truth which will give Sri Lanka some hope is that it has been virtually four years, and 31 Tests, since West Indies received back-to-back matches.
Sri Lanka LWDDL (accomplished matches, most up-to-date first)
West Indies WLLDW
In the highlight
While 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 recreation one, earlier than supporting the frontline bowlers via the rest of the Test. That he’s rising in confidence as a frontrunner was evident from his first-innings declaration – pulling the batsmen out with the rating at 414 for eight, with the intention 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 Tests. If Holder will get wickets, West Indies are usually aggressive.
It was a shock that Lahiru Kumara took twice as many wickets as some other Sri Lanka bowler in Trinidad. Although he’s nonetheless massively indisciplined, the tempo and bounce he generated made him efficient on a largely unresponsive monitor. Kumara’s difficulty, although, has been consistency. He excites every now and then, however can simply as simply go wicketless and leak 100 runs within the subsequent match. With Gamage out of the facet, Sri Lanka are determined for Kumara to offer the identical depth in St Lucia that he had proven in Trinidad.
Devon Smith’s comeback Test didn’t go effectively. But it’s potential West Indies will give him one other shot on the high of the order, which can, after all, maintain Shimron Hetmyer out of the XI. If Hetmyer does play, he’ll most likely 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 acquire a batsman averaging over 45 after 13 Tests (although his finest performances have are available in Asia), additionally they have a half-decent offspinner within the high six. Perhaps it will 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, presumably inflicting interruptions.
Seam bowlers had achieved effectively within the most-recent Test performed at this venue – the India-West Indies Test 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 Test wickets, making him the most-successful fingerspinner in Test historical past (Muttiah Muralitharan primarily used his wrist to impart spin, although he was an offspinner). Only Murali, Shane Warne and Anil Kumble sit forward of him on the spinners’ listing.
West Indies’ final back-to-back Test victories got here in opposition to Bangladesh, at residence, in September 2014.
Three of the 5 Tests 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.