The first contest ended in a draw and it was veteran pair Younus Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq who starred, scoring 136 and 135 respectively in the first innings.
And while Whatmore admits it is key that those men maintain their form, he is also looking to Ahmed Shehzad and Bilawal Bhatti to build on their promising debuts.
Opener Shehzad scored 38 and 55 in the first Test while right-arm paceman Bhatti took three for 65 in the first innings and Whatmore is looking for more of the same.
"There have been so many positives to take through to the Dubai Test," he told espncricinfo.com.
"Our top-order batting carried on with the form they had been in in the recent limited-overs series. Debutant Ahmed Shehzad had a pretty good game and he knows that and young Bhatti demonstrated that he's got the ability to take wickets.
"We wanted to sort out the top order sooner rather than later.
"One of the areas of concern was negotiating the new ball and we did that well. We didn't lose a wicket until say 20 overs and they (openers) made good contributions, but we need consistency."
Adnan Akmal will not take part in the game after fracturing a finger while taking a catch on day three of the first Test and is set to miss the rest of the series.
Sarfraz Ahmad has been called up to replace the wicketkeeper and is in line to make his fifth Test appearance on Wednesday.
Whatmore is due to step down from his post at the end of February and will be looking to claim his only series win against the team he guided to World Cup glory in 1996.
His former charges have injury problems of their own with Lahiru Thirimanne and Nuwan Kulasekara both missing for the second Test.
Batsman Thirimanne has suffered an ankle injury and will be replaced by Kusal Perera, who is uncapped at Test level, while Kulasekara has a hamstring injury.
Neither man featured in the first match so Sri Lanka may well be unchanged for the match in Dubai.