India would look to bounce back strongly in the Test series against Sri Lanka.Reuters

India will take on Sri Lanka in the second Test of the three-match series at the P Sara Oval in Colombo on 20 August, Thursday.

This will also be Kumar Sangakkara's farewell Test and the vulnerable visitors would look to spoil the party. 

Having lost the 1st Test by 63 runs at Galle, Virat Kohli-led India would want to bounce back strongly in the remaining two Tests. 

But there are a number of concerns that Team Director Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli will have to address.  

Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of the rest of the series due to a hairline fracture he suffered while fielding in the first innings of the first match.

Murali Vijay is likely to return at the top of the order. Vijay missed the first Test match at the Galle International Stadium because of a hamstring injury. As he has regained match fitness, he will open for India alongside KL Rahul. 

Rahul has not been in great touch of late and Kohli would be hoping that the former comes good with his willow in the second Test match at Colombo. One of the openers will have to play aggressive cricket to maintain the flow of runs from one end. Dhawan's absence will be felt by Team India. 

Rohit Sharma at No.3 is a never ending debate, it seems, but Kohli and the coach have backed the Mumbai bastman to play at the all-important position. Sharma has been backed by several other critics and cricket experts as well.

In the meantime, Cheteshwar Pujara's name has also come up after Sharma's failure in this format of the game for a long stretch. Stuart Binny has been added to the squad as well. 

As for bowling, the pace attack looks more or less settled and Kohli is likely to stick to the five-bowler strategy. Ishant Sharma and Varun Aaron bowled at a good pace in the first Test but they need to be a bit more economical. Ravichandran Ashwin has been the pick of the bowlers in this tour. Ashwin picked up 10 wickets in the first Test match against Sri Lanka and is one of the players to watch out for in the upcoming Test match. Amit Mishra too had a decent outing at Galle where he picked up five wickets in two innings. 

"We should have been a bit more aggressive in our batting and should have been more positive. There is nothing lacking in team morale and it's the same before this match. We will go harder at them and put in double the effort in this Test. Whatever mistakes we made in the first Test, we will work and improve on them because we were playing Test cricket after a lengthy gap," Mishra told reporters ahead of the second Test match against Sri Lanka.

Harbhajan Singh has not been upto his standard. The veteran Indian tweaker has 412 wickets in the longer format of the game and needs no introduction. He will have to utilise the conditions well just like Ashwin did.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka are gearing up for bidding farewell to Kumar Sangakkara as this will be his last Test match, after which he will hanging his boots from international cricket. 

Sri Lanka are definitely going through a transitional phase, as few of the big names have called time on their international career within a short span of time. But the youngsters did really well to snatch the first Test match from India's claws in a dramatic fashion.

Sri Lanka are likely to continue with the winning squad. Mathews, as promised, will try and make Sangakkara's farewell a memorable one but India might just spoil the party if they bounce back strongly. 

India have only come back twice after going 0-1 down in a Test series before this, against England in 1972 and against Australia in 2001. 


The weather forecast suggests there are chances of showers on all five days of the second Test match at P Sara Oval in Colombo. The wicket is likely to be seamer-friendly and fans will have to wait and watch what strategies the two captains, Kohli and Angelo Mathews, deploy.  

Expected lineups:

 India: Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma/Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh/Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Varun Aaron.

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kumar Sangakkara, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Jehan Mubarak, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhammika Prasad, Tharindu Kaushal, Nuwan Pradeep, Rangana Herath.

India vs Sri Lanka 2nd Test Match Schedule: 20 August, Thursday to 24 August, Monday, at the P Sara Oval in Colombo.

Play timings:

First session: 10 am-12 pm local time (10 am-12 pm IST, 5.30-7.30 am BST, 12.30-2.30 am ET).

Second session: 12.40-2.40 pm local time (12.40-2.40 pm IST, 8.10-10.10 am BST, 3.10-5.10 am ET).

Third session: 3-5 pm local time (3-5 pm IST, 10.30 am-12.30 pm BST, 5.30-7.30 am ET).

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