Millennium Post

Indian batsmen ready for Sri Lankan challenge

Nagpur: Denied by the 'Weather Gods' in the opening Test, a supremely confident India are set to make some strategic changes to ensure that their dominance of Sri Lanka continues unchallenged in the second match.
Having earned the psychological edge by blowing the Sri Lankan top and middle order during the final session of the drawn first Test, the hosts will once again play on a green track at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Jamtha.
The hint of grass on the pitch is in keeping with the team's preparation for the gruelling South African tour which starts next month.
A decent cover of green on the match strip is a marked departure from what has been a traditionally low and slow batting belter over the years. However, till the first ball is bowled, it will be difficult to presume the kind of bounce that will be on offer.
"It seems to be a good pitch. It will be helpful for the fast bowlers at least on the first two days," said Kohli.
For India, the challenge will be to produce an improved performance in trying conditions even though it is expected that the challenge to score runs on this track will be a wee bit less than what it was at the Eden Gardens under overcast conditions.
Kohli has shown how to take a bull by its horn with the magnificent ton in a pressure situation and his men will be itching to do the same against Suranga Lakmal and company.
India's most technically equipped opener Murali Vijay will be making a comeback into the playing XI as Shikhar Dhawan has taken a break for personal reasons.
Experts felt that Vijay's technique was missing during the first two days as Dhawan is known to be a bit edgy early on. The Delhi left-hander did score 94 in the second innings but it was when batting had become easier during the fourth afternoon.
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