The doomsayers in Sri Lanka are preparing to be whitewashed by the Indians in the two-test series, but I have a hunch the tourists won’t be a breeze.
Dimuth Karunaratne leads an exceptionally Sri Lankan side sitting atop the World Test Championship standings currently in their infancy.
The Lankans are a team in search of resurgence and they are stacked with a mixture of youth and experience.
But expert predictions strongly suggest they will be blown away by the mighty Indians first led by Rohit Sharma.
The emotional attachment of Indian fans celebrating former skipper and cult hero Virat Kohi’s 100th Test may lift the home side and fend off any possible challenge.
India will be evolving under Sharma, laying off several seasoned militants for new talent in a bid to gain depth.
Their fans will pray that the coaches’ overconfidence does not turn against them.
Sharma at number six, Kohli at seventh and Dimuth Karunaratne at number eight in the World Test Batting Rankings make for a fascinating series despite all the predictions.
Sri Lanka has a complex team of unpredictable youngsters who have the talent to become superheroes overnight.
Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka and absent youngsters Wanindu Hasaranga and Mahesh Theekshana form a tremendous promise for the future.
With the experience of former skipper Angelo Matthews, recalled Lahiru Thirimanne, Dhananjaya De Silva, Suranga Lakmal and Niroshan Dickwella in this team, the competition should be closer than expected thanks to the mentorship.
The absence of Hasaranga, Theekshana and Kusal Mendis will be a difficult void to fill. But the fringe players in Sri Lanka’s ranks will prove whether they are worthy of consideration going forward.
India are top of the Test cricket standings and the Lankans are seventh.
The series will reveal whether the leaders of the World Test Championship will show enough spirit to justify this temporary pole position.