Sri Lanka are presently locking horns with Afghanistan in a one-off Test match. At the end of the 1st day of this Test match, Sri Lanka trail by 118 runs. The home side is already in a dominant position and would be looking to consolidate on their solid position.
Afghanistan were bundled out for a paltry score of 198 runs in the 1st innings. Rahmat Shah waged a lone battle against the Sri Lankans and failed to receive enough support from the other Afghan batters.
Vishwa Fernando was the pick of the bowlers for Sri Lanka as he bagged 4 wickets. Asitha Fernando and Prabath Jayasuriya took 3 wickets each and have put Sri Lanka in pole position in this Test match.
In this article, we take a look at 3 reasons why Sri Lanka might win in a dominant fashion against Afghanistan in this Test:
1. Rashid Khan isn’t playing this game
Rashid Khan has largely been the backbone of the Afghan side across all the 3 formats. The legendary leg-spinner has been ruled out of the Test match because of a back pain. He also missed the Big Bash League (BBL) 2023-24 and the 3-match T20I series versus India in January 2024 because of this injury.
His absence has caused a lot of headaches to the Afghanistan team management as the entire team is dependent on him. The 3-0 thrashing at the hands of India was a clear-cut example of how the Afghans dearly miss his presence.
2. Not much experience in this format
Prior to this game, Afghanistan have only played 6 Test matches. The nation focusses more on limited-overs games and had played their first-ever Test match in 2018. This is their first Test match against Sri Lanka and the lack of experience in this format might work in favour of their opponents.
Afghanistan have won just 2 Tests so far in their entire history and it was against Ireland and Bangladesh. The Afghans had last played a Test match against Bangladesh in 2023 and they were steamrolled past by the Bangladeshis in that game by a mammoth margin of 546 runs.
3. Sri Lankan players are quite menacing
Sri Lanka have always been a force to reckon with across all the 3 formats. The 1996 ODI World Cup winners have been a dominant force in Tests as well and would be banking on their experience and quality.
The likes of Vishwa Fernando, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Matthews, Dinesh Chandimal and skipper Dhananjaya de Silva have truckloads of experience in this format and beating them would be an intimidating and arduous task for the Afghans.