On a Galle pitch that was loaded in favour of the spinners and batsmen, the West Indies went in with four quicks, today they might well be justified in keeping the same attack, as the P Sara Oval pitch is likely to give assistance to the fast men with good bounce and carry.
As Jason Holder takes the toss in the second and final Test of this Sri Lankan series at Colombo, he will hope things go in his favour because he will want first use of the strip with his seamers fresh. The pitch at P Sara is known to have moisture at the very top but dry underneath, so the spinners are likely to come into play later in the match. The best use the fast bowlers will have of it, is on the first day and Holder would love to release Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor, Shannon Gabriel and of course himself on it.
Yesterday, the team was met by legend Sir Gary Sobers for around two hours at the hotel, as he did his part in trying to motivate them ahead of the match. The trophy for this series bears his name and he would like for the West Indies to at least have a share in the honours.
Holder speaking to the media ahead of the game said, “It’s obviously a massive game for us, it all up to us and perform and get 20 wickets. The batsmen must give us a chance to get 20 wickets. In Galle we had one chance to bowl and we got 10 wickets.”
Holder said a lot of work has gone in over the last two days and he is hoping the players can take it into the match.
“Well the last few days we have done a lot of analysing, we have looked at video footage and we have also done a lot of fielding drills. The batsmen have been working very hard and over the last two days they were trying to come to terms with the conditions P Sara Stadium.
“We have been telling the players that the habit of practicing will definitely lead to better performances and they have been putting in the work. We have done a lot of talking in the dressing room but it boils down to digging a little deeper. Our main challenge at Galle was (Rangana) Herath and we got to be selective against him. We have told the batsmen to be selective but positive at the same time and add patience to this and you would get runs. You can’t get runs sitting in the pavilion.”
Holder gave nothing away in terms of the composition of his team saying: “We have to see the pitch and then we make a decision, there is a possibility that (Jomel) Warrican can come in but we need to see the pitch before we decide on the final XI.”
Sri Lanka is likely to make two changes with Lahiru Thirimanne making way for Kusal Mendis and Kaushal Silva missing out Dilruwan Perera coming into the frame.
West Indies: Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite (vice-captain), Rajendra Chandrika, Darren Bravo, Jermaine Blackwood, Marlon Samuels, Shane Dowrich, Denesh Ramdin, Carlos Brathwaite, Devendra Bishoo, Shai Hope, Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor and Jomel Warrican.
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (captain), Lahiru Thirimanne (vice-captain), Kaushal Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Perera, Milinda Siriwardana, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Tharindu Kaushal, Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera.