Sri Lanka will probably need both Mendis and Muralitharan to hit form, as Malinga and Fernando are both injured, meaning that the pace bowling attack looks unlikely to take 20 Indian wickets on its own.
From India’s point of view, this is nevertheless likely to be a difficult series. Aside from the fact that Dhoni will be ‘rested‘, India’s recent record in Sri Lanka isn’t great. Half of the Tests played between these two sides have been drawn, and the figure is even higher if only Tests in Sri Lanka are taken into account. Whether India’s bowling attack is good enough to fight that trend, I cannot say.
The series will also be notable for the trialling of the new umpire referrals. The cricketing world will be watching with interest.