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India and Sri Lanka gear up to play the first Test at Eden Gardens in Kolkata from Thursday but there is a possibility that rain may not allow play. India’s morning practice session was called off due to bad weather and light showers on Wednesday and according to Met department officials, there are chances of showers till Saturday, which may affect the first three days of the match.
India will look to dominate Sri Lanka, a side they defeated 9-0 across all three formats, earlier this year in Sri Lanka. But, Sri Lanka followed the humiliating home defeat by a surprise 2-0 victory over Pakistan in UAE, which would boost the confidence of Dinesh Chandimal’s men. But Virat Kohli’s side, which has been on a rampage after clinching seventh successive bilateral series against New Zealand earlier this month, appears to be the stronger team.
An inexperienced Sri Lankan side led by Chandimal will find it difficult to win in India and will largely bank on their two most senior players, Angelo Mathews and the left-arm spinner Rangana Herath. Sri Lanka’s record in Test cricket in India has not been impressive, and the team has failed to register a single win in 16 Test matches played on Indian soil over 35 years.
Meanwhile, Kohli’s side will look to sweep past Sri Lanka, and boost their confidence before the upcoming crucial two-month tour to South Africa, starting from January.