Sri Lanka v West Indies, 2nd Test, Colombo

West Indies aim to sustain improvement

The Preview by Andrew McGlashan

November 22, 2010

Comments: 28 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

November 23-27
Start time 10.00 (04.30 GMT)

Chris Gayle celebrates after reaching his triple-century, Sri Lanka v West Indies, 1st Test, Galle, 2nd day, November 16, 2010
Chris Gayle's 333 formed the cornerstone of West Indies' impressive performance in Galle © AFP

Big picture

Sri Lanka were grateful for some assistance from the weather in Galle after West Indies produced their finest overseas performance since beating South Africa in Port Elizabeth three years ago. The visitors were inspired by Chris Gayle's monumental 333, a fantastic innings which began as a destructive opening-day onslaught before he methodically consolidated the team's position.

And if anyone thought Sri Lanka would the pile up 600 themselves that was dashed as Kemar Roach and Shane Shillingford led a committed bowling display which ended with the home side three runs short of saving the follow-on. However, time was already becoming tight and once Sri Lanka edged into the lead they could breathe a little easier. But they have been put on notice: West Indies aren't here just to make up the numbers.

Sri Lanka's major issue is with their bowling attack, not entirely surprising given they have lost Muttiah Muralitaran's 800 wickets. Ajantha Mendis collected six in Galle, but most of them came long after Gayle had set up a huge total, while Suraj Randiv wasn't particularly threatening on a docile surface. Aravinda de Silva, the chairman of the selectors, was exasperated when talking about the problems trying to find pace bowlers with particular mention of Lasith Malinga who is being saved for one-day and Twenty20 action.

West Indies, though, have issues of their own after Shillingford, the offspinner, was reported to ICC for a suspect action. He is still allowed to play pending the investigation, and has received the backing of the coach Ottis Gibson, but it is hardly the ideal preparation for a Test match when a bowler knows all eyes will be on his elbow.

However, given the travails of West Indies in recent years to be entering the second Test of an away series still on level terms isn't an achievement to take lightly. If Gayle continues his form and gets the same support from his team-mates as at Galle then this series can remain an unexpectedly tight contest.

Form guide (last five completed matches)

Sri Lanka DLDWL
West Indies DLDLL

Watch out for...

Ajantha Mendis made a belated mark on the opening Test as he ran through West Indies' lower order. While the late spell didn't change the course of the innings it was a warning of the impact he can have on new batsmen who have yet to settle and emphasises the importance, as shown by Gayle, of batsmen not throwing their wickets away when set. Mendis' success rate has slowed since the heady days early in his career when no batsman appeared able to pick him, but following the retirement of Muralitharan it's time for him to show he can lift his game and become the leader of Sri Lanka's spin attack.

You almost had to rub your eyes watching Darren Bravo bat on his Test debut. The similarities to a certain BC Lara were just uncanny. From his profile, to his stance, then the back lift and the flowing cover drive. There have been players who model themselves on their heroes, but Bravo has taken it to a new level. The key, though, is that Bravo can really play. He has long-since been earmarked for an international career and a debut innings of 58 at No. 3 was a fine way to start. Endless comparisons with Lara won't help his development, but he looks like a cricketer who can have a major part in West Indies' future.

Team news

Sri Lanka will have two new quick bowlers as Dammika Prasad and Thilan Thushara were both omitted from the squad. Shaminda Eranga is an uncapped paceman, but the selectors may opt for the experience of Dilhara Fernando.

Sri Lanka (possible) 1 Tharanga Paranavitana, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (capt), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Thilan Samaraweera, 7 Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Suraj Randiv, 10 Ajantha Mendis, 11 Dilhara Fernando.

Despite the issues over his action, Shillingford appears set to play and be partnered by Sulieman Benn who is now available following suspension. Andre Russell is the likely man to make way which means the new ball will be in the hands of either Darren Sammy or Dwayne Bravo.

West Indies (possible) 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Adrian Barath, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 5 Brendan Nash, 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 Carlton Baugh (wk), 8 Darren Sammy, 9 Sulieman Benn, 10 Shane Shillingford, 10 Kemar Roach

Pitch and conditions

The pitch is an unknown quantity for everyone having been relaid ahead of the World Cup and this is the first first-class match it will be used for. In the days leading into the Test it was on the damp side, which suggests some early movement for the quicks, but the issue with new surfaces is whether they can last the duration.


"We expect to play a lot better from ball one of the game, to make sure we are focused on our game plans and executing them."
Kumar Sangakkara is confident his team will be in better shape for Colombo.

"Sri Lanka are one of the best teams in the world. We are expecting them to come back strong. I hope they will come hard on us. But we have prepared sufficiently."
Darren Sammy is ready for a backlash from the hosts.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Andrew McGlashan

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (November 26, 2010, 10:31 GMT)

@Sachin7. SL has achieved so many thing in Test that nobody can denie that. Everybody knows IND is mediocore team in Test.Winnig only one match in SA after playing 78 years is so pathatic isn't it?.....On the other hand SL has achieved many many things in Test when we compare to other teams.SL is the 8th Test nation and only BAN & ZIM got test status after SL. Whereas all the other teams are got(Test) well before SL. But SL achieved so many thing in Test as well as ODI and T20 that other teams even can not think about that, that is the reality. Being a small nation achieving so much is unbearerble thing for others.That is why they jealous about SL nothing else.

Posted by Sachin7 on (November 23, 2010, 13:09 GMT)

Rexton and Vansan, am not speaking gaga about India here, what am trying to say, try to be humble and especially when SL have achieved nothing really in Test cricket. Sangakarra is one arrogant person and many SL fans are getting swayed by what he talks as an aggressive positive approach and a reality. But the reality is SL have been a mediocore team only in Tests. But i am least bothered about how SL is, but SL fans calling WI as minnows and talking lowly about them isn't acceptable at all. If atleast OZ fans (even though appears arrogant) talk like this its remotely acceptable as they ruled for 15 years or so, but definitely not SL

Posted by khalkhal18 on (November 23, 2010, 10:40 GMT)

people no need for thrash talking teams. remember WI was the most feared team. check the records and see how many batsman scored runs that sand out for their team like Gayle did. Jaysuriya, Hayden, Lara, etc. did it. SL is no better than WI because they rely on just a few players WI- Gayle, shav, bravo and SL sanga mahela, mendis, malinga. Sammy has just started no need to bad talk him wish him the best. SL hard luck in the first test WI outplayed you. WI keep the good work going. and all you critics criticizing won't change the order of the day. hope ya'll getting paid for that cuz they getting paid for playing cricket- win or lose.

Posted by Rexton2 on (November 23, 2010, 9:22 GMT)

Sachin7>> Remember the 2007 50 over world cup??? and the 2010 T20 WC????

Posted by Vansan on (November 23, 2010, 8:48 GMT)

@Sachin7, it will happen for India as well in future with Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman gone, who will win test matches abroad for India, Pujara? Raina? Dhoni?, also not to forget harbhajan is a puppy out of India, he claimed wickets coz of Kumble who actually created pressure. Sachin's final appearance will mostly be 2011 WC, same do with Dravid, by end of 2011, we can expect the same which happened to SL since 2009

Posted by Sachin7 on (November 23, 2010, 7:45 GMT)

Looks like some of the SL fans have become cocky too just like their captain Sangakarra. Its really very sad to see them bashing WI team as minnows etc. But they fail to face reality which is they themselves aren't champions, just an ordinary team who does only in their country and even there they won only with Vaas and Murali. Now with both champions gone, they aren't going to win at all probably, which showed clearly in the first test. Gone are the days when SL had some gentlemen in their team like Murali, Jayasuriya, Ranatunga etc

Posted by anver777 on (November 23, 2010, 4:34 GMT)

This is gonna be a another tame tame draw.... of course the winner will be the weather here in Sri Lanka, SL public mostly believe whenever a foreign team is on tour expect the rain in SL...anyway hope we get some cricket.

Posted by ramzi1985 on (November 23, 2010, 4:27 GMT)

@ napster- Thank you for the humor mate. As it's an unknown pitch and due to prevaling gloomy weather win the toss and bowl should be the option. Sammy did a godd job captaining the team and still only 1 test old as captin so give him a chance even though the team balance gets a little awkward.

Posted by   on (November 23, 2010, 4:18 GMT)

The probable team can win the test match. Nuwan can handle the situation he needs more test exposure, Dilhara 's speed & slow bouncers good weapons. Newly laid pitch it will react/so still unpredictable, wait & see the pitch report.Best of luck sri lanka.

Posted by Dashgar on (November 23, 2010, 4:01 GMT)

Taking the new ball will do Sammy a world of good. He'll be a more key player in the bowling lineup so will be more confident to bowl himself. He's still finding his feet as captain so he needs to establish himself as a more key player. That meant either batting in the top six or, like he will now, taking the new ball. Sammy, Roach, Bravo, Benn, Shillingford is a far better attack than Sri Lanka will produce. If Windies can fire with the bat again this could be a great test match.

Posted by freewilly25 on (November 23, 2010, 3:14 GMT)

go windies. lets hope for the best and see wat this second test match will go.

Posted by thebrownie on (November 23, 2010, 3:11 GMT)

Andre, can I have some of whatever you are smoking? SL champion team? They are yet to win a test match in Aus, SA and Ind and now there is no Murali.

Posted by Swordfishmadk on (November 23, 2010, 2:56 GMT)

pls include vaas in to the team to uproot CG,they've been lucky that Gayle scored runs in last test but not any more possible if vaas is there,.....Good luck for lions aware of the unknown pitch guys..............

Posted by Pyperman on (November 23, 2010, 2:51 GMT)

They are trying to target Shillingford just like they targeted Jermaine Lawson but it would not work this time around. Give Sammy a chance he is going to develop into an outstanding player and captain. We need to give people a fair chance to prove themselves before we drag them down.

Posted by jermainewi on (November 23, 2010, 1:39 GMT)

Go West Indies ........benn ,Shillingford and Roach will win this game for wi fans........

Posted by   on (November 23, 2010, 1:32 GMT)

West Indies have disturbed the ants nest and i believe Sri Lanka are going to come out and perform like the champions they are. I pity the West Indies for the next five days. I hope I'm wrong. If it wasnt for Gayle and his magnificence it would have been an ordinary score .

Posted by   on (November 23, 2010, 0:43 GMT)

wat will windies do for the worldcup? fidel and taylor will be bak, there is roach russell benn shane bravo sammy. wat will the selectors do? choosing sammy as capt was a bad choice. the guy isnt even a regular in the test squad

Posted by tarmar on (November 22, 2010, 22:52 GMT)

Hope West Indies come out with the same fight they had in the first match. The middle order needs to perform much better.Sri Lanka will come back with a fight so West Indies has to watch out.

Posted by lananad on (November 22, 2010, 21:48 GMT)

Some WI fans are still living in their 80's golden era. SriLankan are no more minors actually they are playing against a minor team at the moment. WI were lucky that Gayle scored runs,if not it would have been 200 + score. All the best SL for the 2nd test and the rest of the series. Just roll past this ordinary test team. Mahela ,Sanga,Thilan it is good opportunity to add couple of hundreds under your name.

Posted by   on (November 22, 2010, 21:12 GMT)

Mr Sammy is an all rounder. Can't bat, can't bowl, can't field and CAN'T CAPTAIN!"!!!

Posted by   on (November 22, 2010, 20:05 GMT)

Only way Sri Lanka get Gayle's wicket early in the innings by having Vaas in the team... otherwise its only the god's blessing that ll save ur day

Posted by CampBreeze on (November 22, 2010, 17:56 GMT)

I know Russell got the quick wicket but I don't think he ready for test cricket and he doesn't have the best action.

What would be interesting is if the WI did have another legitimate quick bowler available (like a fit Edwards or Taylor). For this matchup it would be hard to justify having Sammy in the side over someone like that.

Having said that, the team's performance in the first match was a surprise and the captain must get some credit for that, n'est ce pas?

Posted by TerranceRajah on (November 22, 2010, 17:55 GMT)

If Sri Lanka goes in with the probable team mentioned above they will be again facing a WI who will be looking at 600 or more.. Nuwan Kulasekera has not performed well in Tests .he is one day genius. Dilhara could be a solution but we are still short of 1 bowler. if Mathews cannot bowl ,he should not play and we should bring in Ranga or the new boy Shaminda. Or else, leave out prasanna and Sanga should keep, giving room for the 5th bowler. Its high time we realize that 5 bowlers are required .. it was required even with Mural and Vaas and without them. there is no need to explain.. Good luck SL but please if you want to win, go in with 5 bowlers..

Posted by   on (November 22, 2010, 17:28 GMT)


Posted by napster82 on (November 22, 2010, 16:32 GMT)

Go Windies go...teach these minnows a lesson about test cricket..they think just because they can throw their bats around in ODI that they can get away in test cricket. Go teach these cardboard heroes a good lesson :) ... All the best

Posted by   on (November 22, 2010, 15:18 GMT)

Sammy should be the one to go, not Andre. Too bad Sammy has been made the captain when he does not even deserve to be in the team.

Posted by darkmon.SL on (November 22, 2010, 14:36 GMT)

Good luck Kumar and co. !

Posted by   on (November 22, 2010, 14:27 GMT)

Looking like Lara is one thing...I hope he has that drive in him Lara did...only then will he pull it off...

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
Tour Results
Sri Lanka v West Indies at Colombo (SSC) - Feb 6, 2011
Sri Lanka won by 26 runs
Sri Lanka v West Indies at Colombo (SSC) - Feb 3, 2011
Sri Lanka won by 8 wickets (with 27 balls remaining) (D/L method)
Sri Lanka v West Indies at Pallekele - Dec 1-5, 2010
Match drawn
Sri Lanka v West Indies at Colombo (RPS) - Nov 23-27, 2010
Match drawn
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days