Preview: Sri Lanka will come into the third Test at Barbados dented. They have lost the first two Tests against the hosts and adding to their woes is absence of regular Test captain Dinesh Chandimal, who was banned by ICC over the ball-tampering incident during the second Test.
Chandimal did challenge the ruling of one Test ban but he lost the case and was found guilty for tampering the ball. He is set to miss the third Test match. "Judicial Commissioner, Michael Beloff, has dismissed Dinesh Chandimal's appeal after the Sri Lanka captain was found guilty of changing the condition of the ball during the second day's play in the second Test against the Windies in St Lucia on Saturday," said a statement released by the ICC.
In absence of Chandimal, Sri Lanka have named fast bowler Suranga Lakmal as captain. The loss of Chandimal will hurt Sri Lanka both as batsman and captain. He, along with Kusal Mendis, has been the pick of the batsmen for the visitors. Now, with Chandimal out, someone else will have to share the responsibility and step up.
Sri Lanka's bowlers have been in good form in the Test series. Lakmal and Lahiru Kumara have been right on money. Kasun Rajitha also bowled well in his maiden Test match, picking five wickets. It is the batting which is a huge worry for the Sri Lankans.
West Indies have ticked almost all the boxes in this Test series. The major boost for them has been pacer Shannon Gabriel who scalped 13 wickets in the last match. With Kemar Roach, Holder and Miguel Cummins, they form a lethal bowling attack.
The third Test will also be the first day-night Test match in Caribbean. The third Test of the series against Sri Lanka at Kensington Oval in Barbados will be the 10th day-night affair since it debuted in 2015 when Australia hosted New Zealand in Adelaide.
For several prominent former West Indies cricketers, the uniqueness of the day-night encounter presents an additional attraction to fans who have generally been turned off the regional team, especially in the traditional format of the competition, because of their consistently sub-standard performances in recent years.
"I am sure that it will be viewed as a novelty by some, and that's okay," said Jeff Dujon, wicketkeeper-batsman in the era of incomparable West Indian dominance of the international game in the 1980s.
The Kensington Oval has always been a friendly wicket for fast bowlers and the third Test being a day-night affair, expect the pacers to come into play when the Test begins. There are chances that the match might be affected by rain as well.
West Indies: Jason Holder (c), Devendra Bishoo, Devon Smith, Kraigg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich (wk), Shannon Gabriel, Jahmar Hamilton, Keemo Paul, Shai Hope, Kemar Roach
Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (c), Mahela Udawatte, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Roshen Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Jeffrey Vandersay, Kasun Rajitha, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Asitha Fernando, Dhananjaya de Silva
-With inputs from AFP