Sri Lanka haven’t been great or poor with the late ball, but they have to put their game in action.
For the first time in 18 months, test cricket returns to the Caribbean. Even away from this panacea, a lot has happened in the meantime. Sri Lanka has changed coaches (as is an annual tradition). Kyle Mayers has become the sentiment behind his 210 in Bangladesh. And, most recently, Kraigg Brathwaite has replaced Jason Holder as West Indies Test captain.
Brathwaite’s rise to leadership, and the downfall for Holder that would have to accommodate that move, have been among the captain’s switches that have been less turbulent in recent years. No one was left out of the team, or badly slammed in the media.
West Indies top selector Roger Harper has even come out and stressed the extent to which Holder’s role continues for the West Indies, explaining why Brathwaite got the captain : “Kraigg was able to inspire his players to play at a high level. and create the culture we are looking to establish where the team showed fighting determination and a real hunger for success. “(These happen to be similar to the reasons why Dimuth Karunaratne – another non-flashy opener – got the job for Sri Lanka.) But nonetheless, the West Indies are And while we know what to expect from Brathwaite ‘s manpower (he has already led the team in seven Tests), he will be keen to his first designation as a permanent director went well.
Sri Lanka’s concerns, meanwhile, are widespread. Their batting has been excellent in some innings, but terrible in others over the last four Tests since December. Their bowling has been a bit more consistent, as it hasn’t been awful or awful, but every time the puppies go on the field, you worry about their well-being, so it’s rampant. be injured.
To some extent, it is difficult to predict what to expect from this Sri Lankan team, as well as inconsistent achievements. This is partly due to the fact that the team in such a flux (e.g. Karunaratne and Dhananjaya de Silva join this team to raise the bat, but Angelo Mathews leaves the XI and weakening). This trip has been congested for Covid ‘s reasons, giving Sri Lanka just a few days to prepare for the Tests after a limited schedule, also making matters more difficult for the visitors.
(completed matches, most recent first)
West Indies: WWLLL
Sri Lanka: : LLLLD
Ged Kraigg BrathwaiteProgressive leadership has received a lot of attention since a 2-0 win against Bangladesh, analyzes on his bat were not as strong. He hit 76 and 47 in that last series, but the overall trend has been down. In 2020 it averaged 23.10, in 2019 it averaged 16.81, and in 2018 it averaged 24.43. Above that his batting average as captain is at 20.64, compared to 34.16 when he is not. West Indies voters said they hoped Holder would now have more time to take away his batting and bowling now that he has been relieved to be a captain. They hope Brathwaite will break out of his rut as well.
Chameera Dushmantha he did his first Test in 2015. For reasons largely related to injury, he has only played nine Tests since. On this tour, he has had a lot of confidence – to bow quickly and give a break in the restricted legs, which happens to be his job description in the Tests as well, with the Suranga Lakmal and Vishwa Fernando who are much slower make up the rest of the distance attack. Chameera is not usually a merchant of a swing seam, but it is possible for a Dukes ball to insert it. Either way, Sri Lanka may need Chameera to be relevant and efficient throughout the series if they want to stay competitive.
Park and conditions
The playground is expected to be friendly to a seam mattress for the first day, before going down. The weather is expected to be good enough for the Test period, with temperatures in the mid-20s.
West Indies can leave Jomel Warrican out and have to choose between Darren Bravo and Nkrumah Bonner.
West Indies (possible): 1 Kraigg Brathwaite (c), 2 John Campbell, 3 Darren Bravo / Nkrumah Bonner, 4 Kyle Mayer, 5 Jermaine Blackwood, 6 Joshua da Silva (wk), 7 Jason Holder, 8 Rahkeem Cornwall, 9 Alzarri Joseph, 10 Kemar Roach, 11 Shannon Gabriel
Sri Lanka (able): 1 Dimuth Karunaratne (capt.), 2 Lahiru Thirimanne, 3 Oshada Fernando, 4 Dinesh Chandimal (wk), 5 Pathum Nissanka, 6 Dhananjaya de Silva, 7 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 8 Suranga Lakmal, 9 Lasith Embuldeniya, 10 Dushmantha Chameera, 11 Vishwa Fernando
Stats and trivia
- The West Indies have only won two of the seven games they have played under Brathwaite, although those are the two most recent games, in Bangladesh.
- Of the 20 Tests these teams have played, Sri Lanka have won nine and lost just four. All four losses and just two of those wins came in Caribbean games.
- Although Holder’s battery got a little worse when he was a leader, he was a better bowler as a captain, gaining an average of 26.76 when he got an average of 35.37 when he was not leading the side.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is a Sri Lankan journalist at ESPNcricinfo. @afidelf