India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd Test: Virat Kohli-Led India Eye Series Whitewash Against Hapless Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka lost the first Test in Galle by 304 runs and the second at Colombo by an innings and 53 runs.
Dinesh Chandimal-led Sri Lanka are on the brink of a series whitewash in the third and final Test against India commencing on August 12. So far in the series, injury-stricken Sri Lanka have failed to tick the right boxes. The Lankan lions, who have been criticised by fans and deemed unfit by the sports minister, now face the third-ranked Test team at Pallekele, following their defeats in Galle and Colombo. A series of loss for the hosts have definitely brought down the confidence of the players. Captain Dinesh Chandimal, who was out of the first Test due to pneumonia, said that a consolation victory over India would help put the smiles back on his players' faces.
"If we can win even one match against a team like this (India), we will be able to really boost the mental state in the team. They are the number one team," said Chandimal.
"We need to pick up the positives and look forward to the next game."
Virat Kohli has become the only India captain to win two Test series in Sri Lanka as his side smashed first innings of 600 and more in the opening two Tests.
Cheteshwar Pujara leads India's run-scorers with two centuries and an average of more than 100 in India's three innings so far.
India's bowlers have also shone with spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin topping the wicket-takers' chart with 13 and 11 respectively. However, Jadeja will not be playing the third Test as he has been suspended for breaching an ICC conduct code.
Though Axar Patel has been included in the 15-member squad, Kohli now has to choose between Kuldeep Yadav and the former for the final Test.
Sri Lanka have not been helped by a succession of injuries, capped by a back problem which has sidelined their number one bowler, Rangana Herath. Along with him, the hosts will also miss the services of pacer Nuwan Pradeep and all-rounder Asela Gunaratne.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha insists India are taking nothing for granted.
"We haven't thought about 3-0. Our process is match by match," he said.
"We are ahead by 2-0, so in the next match the aim is to give similar performance as last two matches as a team in batting, bowling and fielding. We will try to be consistent and if we do then we can win."
Sri Lanka lost the first Test in Galle by 304 runs and lost the second at Colombo by an innings and 53 runs.
(With AFP inputs)