West Indies (WI) have been presented with a rare chance to seal the three match test series after going one up in the first test and faced with a deflated Sri Lanka (SL) today at Gros Islet, St Lucia today.
WI have not won back to back tests in four years but this win could see it becoming a possibility while SL’s hope of winning a series in the Caribbean extend further as the visitors face an uphill task with two of their core going home.
Without the experience of Angelo Mathews, though he only scored 42 runs from his two innings playing primarily as a batsman, SL looks to be without balance as they search for the right combination as the former captain left the series for personal reasons.
Making matters worse for the touring nation, fast bowler, Lahiru Gamage is also back on a flight to his homeland nursing a fractured finger received in the first match.
SL nevertheless came prepared, bringing along a 17-man squad rather than the usual 15 with two replacements also expected to reach in time for the final test match, the historic day and night affair in Barbados.
WI however are unlikely to tinker with the line up after the only weak link of the first test being returning 36-year-old Devon Smith who found a horrid time on his comeback after three years where he failed in both innings, scoring seven and 20 respectively.
Should West Indies be favorable to Smith and give him another chance to prove his worth, it could very well be his last should he fail but if the host do make a change, it could possibly see Smith being replaced by Shimron Hetmyer who scored 66 in his last test innings and is hungry for runs at the senior level.
WI skipper, Jason Holder commended his lower order for pulling their weight with the bat while executing perfectly with the ball but a lot will be dependent on the bowlers who take center stage once again.
With four frontline pacers in the WI side, they will be a handful with the pitch assisting the fast bowlers recently and would also tempt the visitors to remain with a five-man pace attack.
The first ball bowls off at 10:00h.