New Delhi: As the opening game of the three-match Test series between India and Sri Lanka is set to start at Galle from Wednesday, here are the five reasons why the tourists have an edge over the hosts.
Prove a point: Many cricketers in the 15-member Indian squad have to prove a point in the series either to cement their place in the team or to save their international careers. On one end ageing cricketers -- Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra -- will try to extend their international careers. On the other hand, players like Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ishant Sharma and few others will try to revive their careers in the longest format. So most of the players would try to put their best foot forward against the hosts to make a statement.
Five bowlers strategy: Kohli and Indian team management have made sure that five-bowler strategy is the way forward. They are going with the logic that to win a Test a team has to pick up 20 wickets. Knowing the less-experienced batting line-up of Sri Lanka, chances are high that the strategy might work for the tourists.
Pressure on Lanka: Sri Lanka are coming into the series on the back of a series loss (1-2) against Pakistan, that too at their home soil. And now they have to lock horns with Team India, who look like a more stable Test side than Pakistan. So the pressure would be on the hosts to stop their losing campaign.
Aggressive skipper: Like an aggressive batsman, Indian skipper Virat Kohli leads the side with the same intent. He loves taking chances to push for a win and he showed the glimpse of it in Australia, at the end of last year. This (Lanka tour) being his maiden full-fledged series as a skipper, he would love to start it with a bang.
Spin vulnerability: If Pakistan's leggie Yasir Shah's exceptional performance in the last series against the Lankans was a thing to remember, then one thing is sure that against India Lankan batsmen have to face a more stern test. In the form of R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra, skipper Kohli has the experienced troika of tweakers at his disposal, who can be extremely difficult to handle on the turning tracks of Lanka.