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1st Test, Sri Lanka tour of India at Kolkata, Nov 16-20 2017

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India v Sri Lanka again? Didn't they play last week? Or was it last month? Might have been last season. Who could care?

 

Such is the apathy towards the contest that it is almost forgotten that Sri Lanka were last invited to play Test cricket in India, during "prime time", was a full eight years ago. For purposes of rhythm no doubt, they played the matches on exact same dates - November 16, November 24 and December 2, 2009 - while the country was busy celebrating Sachin Tendulkar's 20 years in international cricket. Only immigration officers knew Sri Lanka had been in the country for a week when the pre-match press conferences began.

 

If India were stuck in the past in 2009, it would appear they already have their minds in the future - in South Africa. Hardik Pandya, whose only Tests have come against Sri Lanka, has been rested because he is believed to be the one to make the difference overseas. If India seal this Sri Lanka series in the first two Tests, it is possible even captain Virat Kohli might give the rest of the tour a miss. Why, even the green pitchfor the first Test at Eden Gardens might suggest South Africa has come in earnest.

 

The last time Sri Lanka came to India, they caught the hosts by surprise and had them 32 for 4 on the first day of the series, the last bit of ascendency they enjoyed. They will now hope not only to catch India on the hop but for a longer period of time.

 

The last time Sri Lanka came to India, the hosts would become the No. 1 side in the world. Now, they are already on top of the rankings, a more ruthless, bowler-oriented version of MS Dhoni's team. And Sri Lanka? Well, they were the No. 2 side in 2009 but in the lead up to 2017, they lost Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Dilshan, Samaraweera, Muralitharan and their prominence in international cricket. Not only have Sri Lanka lost legends as players but, until as recently as last month, also as possible advisors to take them into the next era.

 

A more pressing concern is the batting, which needs a lot of work to stand up to India's bowling might, which will be further accentuated on home surfaces. Even though they won the series in Pakistan 2-0, Sri Lanka are keeping their ambitions realistic: they will be happy if they can win a Test, their first, in India.

 

 

Team news

The Eden Gardens pitch is green and expected to help the quicks. The last time India played a Test here - on a similar pitch last year - they went in with an extra batsman. With the seam-bowling allrounder missing, India might possibly go that way again. If they do so, they might come face to face with a choice they will anyway have to make in South Africa: who out of Ashwin and Jadeja makes way for a third specialist fast bowler? That fast bowler if selected is most certainly going to be Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who took a five-for in his last Kolkata Test.

 

The other choice to be made for India is one that will bring them dilemma in South Africa too. While it might be harsh to drop either Shikhar Dhawan or KL Rahul after the year they have had, M Vijay might be a valuable asset in overseas.

 

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/18074/preview/1122723/India-vs-Sri-Lanka-1st-Test-sl-in-india-2017-18

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43 minutes ago, beetle said:

Rain stopped.

Covers coming off.

They will come to the pitch and do the toss. Say game will start in 20 minutes and then it will start raining after 20 minutes :cantstop:

Edited by Laaloo

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2 minutes ago, beetle said:

I hope dhawan goes early .

Vijay should be playing in his place.

No please. I mean I like Vijay too but its not that Vijay has been scoring tons of runs. His average has only dropped to under 40. It sits at 39.xx. Dhawan’s is 44. Again nothing much to choose between the too. 

 

I am just glad Rahul is playing. 

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3 minutes ago, Cricketics said:

No please. I mean I like Vijay too but its not that Vijay has been scoring tons of runs. His average has only dropped to under 40. It sits at 39.xx. Dhawan’s is 44. Again nothing much to choose between the too. 

 

I am just glad Rahul is playing. 

Aravinda De Silva's average was 43, Thilan Samaraweera averaged 48+. Same story here.  

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1 minute ago, Gollum said:

Aravinda De Silva's average was 43, Thilan Samaraweera averaged 48+. Same story here.  

Like I said, Vijay hasn’t been a run machine or big savior of Indian cricket recently that I am absolutely shocked by the selection. Its really not a major loss honestly. Few years ago, yes, not at this time and hence his average keep dropping is why I mentioned the average. If Rahul had not played for some reason, then I would be pissed. 

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16 minutes ago, Cricketics said:

Like I said, Vijay hasn’t been a run machine or big savior of Indian cricket recently that I am absolutely shocked by the selection. Its really not a major loss honestly. Few years ago, yes, not at this time and hence his average keep dropping is why I mentioned the average. If Rahul had not played for some reason, then I would be pissed. 

Vijay has more chances of doing well on a green top than Dhawan. Simple mess by Kohli, maybe because he has been coming from a long break.

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