first_imgTeam India would look to continue their ruthless streak while Sri Lanka would want to forget the annihilation suffered at home and chase what has been an improbable dream of winning a Test here when the two teams clash in a three-match series, starting here on Thursday.There is a possibility of rain threat after home team’s morning practice session was called off after a spell of shower.India had inflicted on Sri Lanka a humiliating 9-0 whitewash across three formats even as they bounced back to secure a surprise 2-0 win against Pakistan in the UAE. There will be no let up from Team India, who are taking this series as a preparation for the gruelling two-month long South Africa tour where they play three Tests, six ODIs and three T20Is beginning with Cape Town Test on January 5.In a bumper home season, which started in September 2016, India won 10 of 13 Test matches, with their solitary defeat coming against Steve Smith’s Australia.Even on home ground Sri Lanka have struggled against India, losing 9-0 across all three formats in July and August.It always feels nice to comeback to Test cricket as the challenges are different and it is something we look forward to – Virat Kohli #INDvSL BCCI (@BCCI) November 15, 2017’We as a team take every match and series seriously,’ says Captain Virat Kohli ahead of the 1st Test against Sri Lanka #INDvSL BCCI (@BCCI) November 15, 2017Since that Test series in July-August, the hosts have played 13 ODIs and six Twenty20 internationals but adjusting to the rigours of the longer-version of the game should not be an issue since most of the team members have played Ranji Trophy matches for their respective sides.advertisementUnder Kohli, the world’s top-ranked Test side has won eight consecutive series dating back to 2015, and Sri Lanka look incapable of stopping them from winning a ninth to tie England and Australia for the record for most consecutive Test series wins.”Tough to speak on workload. There’s a lot of talk about whether players should be rested or not. From the outside it looks like why are people asking for rest. Everyone played same number of games. But it’s important to understand that not everyone had the same kind of workload in every game that you play. We have built such a strong core team now of 20-25 players, you don’t want important players breaking down at important times. That is where the balance needs to be maintained. It’s humanly impossible to maintain the same kind of intensity for a player who plays all three formats. Definitely, I do need a rest. When I think that my body needs to be rested, I’ll ask for it. I am not a robot you can cut my skin and check, I bleed,” Kohli said on the eve of the first Test against Sri Lanka.That the Islanders have not won a single Test in 17 appearances over 35 years (they first played in India in 1982) and travel with an inexperienced side will make the task onerous for skipper Dinesh Chandimal.He will bank heavily on Angelo Mathews and left-arm spinner Rangana Herath — the two senior members who were part of the side which travelled here in 2009. The Met office has predicted rain till November 18 under the influence of a well-marked low-pressure area that is making its way up the Bay of Bengal along the Indian coast and the series-opener may be a curtailed affair.THREE-PRONGED PACE ATTACKIndia look supremely confident at home barring a couple of selection dilemma looking at the Edens seemingly greentop strip which may pave the way for the return of Bhuvneshwar Kumar in a likely three-plus-two bowling combination.Bhuvneshwar last played a Test against Australia in Dharamsala in March this year and looked in good rhythm during India’s practice sessions.He will relish the conditions at the Eden where he picked up a five-wicket haul against New Zealand in the last Test played here in September 2016 as he may join the other two pace duo of Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami. In the spin line-up, India may stick to their third Test line-up in Pallekele where chinaman Kuldeep Yadav made way for left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja. The chinaman not only rolled his arm at the nets but had an extended batting session but it remains to be seen if India leaves out Jadeja, who is also a handy option with the bat.advertisementTEST SPECIALISTS BACK IN SPOTLIGHTMurali Vijay is back after recovering from a wrist injury that had left him out of the Sri Lanka tour. The Tamil Nadu opener is confident after his 140 against Odisha in Cuttack but was not seen much in action during practice, an indication that Kohli may stick to Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul up front. Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored two centuries in Sri Lanka, not only gives the Indian batting solidity but has a calming effect on the team with his penchant for marathon innings. Further down, skipper Kohli will be desperate to be back among runs after getting only one second innings hundred against Sri Lanka at Galle (103).In the middle order, Ajinkya Rahane too was among runs with a century and a fifty in Sri Lanka. In the absence of Hardik Pandya, who has been rested, R Ashwin will look to shoulder the responsibility in batting.Most sides have found off-spinner Ashwin and left-armer Jadeja too hot to handle but Sri Lanka might be in for an even rougher ride with the pair likely keen to prove a point after being overlooked by selectors for India’s limited-overs sides.SRI LANKA’S BIG DREAMIf winning a Test is a dream for Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal, it would not come easy as their batsmen will have to spend considerable time on the crease. Touted as Sri Lanka’s next big thing, Sadeera Samarawickrama is likely to take the opening slot left vacant after the sacking of Kaushal Silva.Opener Dimuth Karunaratne is fresh from a career-best 196 against Pakistan in the Dubai Test and the southpaw would look to carry forward his form. The team think tank has made it clear that Mathews, the senior most member in their batting group, will not be used in bowling and the onus would be on him to return among runs.Incidentally, his last hundred came against India — a knock of 102 in Colombo in August, 2015. In the bowling, they will rely heavily on Herath but it remains to be seen who will assist him. They have the promising chinaman Lakshan Sandakan who had a five-wicket haul against India in the Pallekele Test but in Indian conditions it remains to be seen whether they will opt for the inexperienced spinner ahead of off-spinner Dilruwan Perera.SQUADS:India: Virat Kohli (Captain), KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma.Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Lahiru Thirimanne, Niroshan Dickwella (wicket-keeper), Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Gamage, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando, Dasun Shanaka and Roshen Silva.(With inputs from agencies)last_img read more

first_imgShimla: The meteorological department on Wednesday issued a warning for heavy rains on Friday and Saturday in Himachal Pradesh, even as light to moderate rainfall occurred at a few places in the state. A ‘yellow’ warning for heavy rainfall in plains and low and middle hills of the state on September 27-28 has been issued, Shimla MeT Centre director Manmohan Singh said. The colour-coded warnings are issued to alert the public ahead of severe or hazardous weather which has the potential to cause “damage, widespread disruption and/or danger to life.” Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh ‘Yellow’ is the least dangerous of all the weather warnings. Singh said some places in the state have been receiving light to moderate rainfall since Tuesday evening. Renuka Jee in Sirmaur district received the highest 27 mm rain, followed by Bilaspur (3 mm) and Dalhousie and Nahan (1 mm each), he added. The lowest temperature in the state was recorded in Keylong at 9 degrees Celsius, Singh said.last_img read more