|Finished.271 & 236/4 - 169 & 476|
After a poor showing in the T20 series and getting outclassed in the ODI series, the visiting Sri Lankans must now face the West Indians in the Test series. Even without the events preceding the Tests, Sri Lanka wouldn’t have been expected to find much success, but now it looks much worse. That being said, it is still the West Indies we are talking about - a team capable of being world champions one day, and losing to Associate nations the next, so the Lankans shouldn’t lose heart. On the other hand, on their recent trip to Bangladesh, the West Indies showed that they themselves have heart in troves. Both teams have a lot to prove, and with Tests between the two sides a rare occurrence, this should be interesting. Before the tossing coin feels the cool early morning Antiguan breeze, let’s take a look at the two sides.
Full squad vs Sri Lanka for Test series
Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Darren Bravo, John Campbell, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Kemar Roach, Jomel Warrican.
West Indies predicted XI for 1st Test vs Sri Lanka
Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Darren Bravo, John Campbell, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Kemar Roach, Jomel Warrican.
Preview and form
Strange selection strategies are nothing new for the West Indies, and this series is no exception. Despite doing extremely well in the ODI series, Shai Hope has been left out of the squad, as have Akeal Hosein and Kjorn Ottley, among others. Kraigg Brathwaite, who was recently given the captaincy from Jason Holder, will have to get used to the role while managing the very man he superseded. He will have the consistent Jermaine Blackwood and up-and-coming Kyle Mayers to form the batting bulwark. The often deft Alzarri Joseph and either Jomel Warrican, Rahkeem Cornwall, or both will be the main bowlers to watch out for, though chances are it will only be one spinner and not two, with Kraigg Brathwaite helping out when needed.Although the West Indies have been doing relatively well in terms of win percentage over the last 3 or so years, that is mostly by playing against Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Zimbabwe, with their only big series win coming against England over 2 years ago.
West Indies key players for 1st Test vs Sri Lanka
Kraigg Brathwaite: The new leader will have to step up to his dual role as opener and captain.
Jermaine Blackwood: The most consistent Test batsmen the West Indies have right now, Blackwood will have to live up to his reputation.
Alzarri Joseph: Joseph will have to use all the tricks in his book to make the best of the pace-friendly pitch.
Jason Holder: It’s not easy to have leadership taken away from you, and the talented Holder will have to find other ways to shine.
Full squad vs West Indies for Test series
Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Dasun Shanaka, Pathum Nissanka, Oshada Fernando, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Roshen Silva, Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ramesh Mendis, Vishwa Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Asitha Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera, Lasith Embuldeniya.
Sri Lanka predicted XI for 1st Test vs West Indies
Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Dasun Shanaka, Pathum Nissanka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, Lasith Embuldeniya.
Preview and form
The Lankans have pretty much every top level Test player the country has at their disposal right now, but the problem is, most of those players are inexperienced, and some are just not showing much promise. Unless the Windies suffer one of their trademark collapses, the Lankans will have to pull a rabbit out of the hat if they are to win. Karunaratne and Shanaka will both have to do their best, and the surprise exclusion of the well-performing Ashen Bandara from the Test squad will probably remain a mystery. More experienced hands like Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal must do better. Lasith Embuldeniya and Wanindu Hasaranga will be important cogs in the Lankan machine if the match reaches the 4th day or later. Despite the seemingly dilapidated state of their squad, though, the Lankans’ recent record remains pretty good with plenty of victories against big teams in the last half decade.
Sri Lanka key players for 1st Test vs West Indies
Dimuth Karunaratne: Line his West Indian counterpart, Karunaratne must do hit level best.
Dinesh Chandimal: As we have already mentioned, Chandimal must play better - and here’s to hoping he will.
Dushmantha Chameera: He’s no Malinga, but he’s the best the Lankans have right now as far as pace goes.
Wanindu Hasaranga: Hasaranga is the most consistent player in the Lankan side right now.
West Indies vs Sri Lanka head to head
Despite starting Test cricket almost 3 quarters of a century later, the Lankans have a sizable lead on the West Indies in terms of head to head results. Sri Lanka have 9 wins to West Indies’ 4, with 7 draws on the side. Things get more grim when you realize that the Windies last won a series against the Lions back in 2003. Lastly, we believe that the chances for drawn matches in this series are low at best.
West Indies vs Sri Lanka 1st Test pitch report and weather conditions
The pitch at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium is one that pace bowlers will love initially, with plenty of speed, bounce, and movement on offer. However, as long as the batsmen can see out the swing, the old ball should be fun to hit. Additionally, the older the pitch gets, the more spin-friendly it will be. Winning the toss should mean batting first, and getting at least 400+.
The first day should be pretty pleasant, but starting on the second day, intermittent light showers may interrupt play. As long as the water stays in the clouds, though, the weather should be absolutely ideal for cricket.
Can the West Indies make home advantage count and go 1-0 up? Or will the Lankans manage to take some revenge for the humiliation they faced in the limited overs series? Find out if our West Indies versus Sri Lanka predictions come true starting Sunday!
|WI Top Batsman:|
|SL Top Batsman:|
|WI Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|SL Top Bowler (Wickets):|
|Players to score a fifty:|
|K Brathwaite/J Blackwood/K Mayers (WI), D Karunaratne/D Chandimal/N Dickwella (SL)|
|Players to score a century:|
|K Brathwaite/J Blackwood (WI), D Karunaratne/D Chandimal (SL)|