News Karnataka
Friday, March 31 2023

Lankans mulling different combination for India challenge

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Kolkata: Still looking for their first Test win on Indian soil even after 17 matches, the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team were mulling a four bowler plus and all rounder option in a possible change from the five bowler strategy that paid them handsome dividends in the recent engagements against Pakistan.

“Against Pakistan we played six batsmen and five bowlers. That played out very well specially in that heat (of UAE). Never is it easy to play four bowlers and win. That is the combination we are looking at.

“But if you are playing against India, they have some great bowlers… so we have to think about some all rounder position. We haven’t selected anything. After seeing the pitch, we will come up with our plans,” Sri Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal said at a press conference here on Thursday, a day after setting foot on Indian soil.

After a poor show against India earlier this year, the islanders had raised their game by several notches opposite Pakistan to win the Test series 2-0. However, Pakistan had come back hard to take the 50-over ODI series 5-0.

Sri Lanka are scheduled to play three Test matches, three ODIs and three T20 Internationals over the next one and a half months in India.

Acknowledging that the India tour was a big challenge for his new-look side, Chandimal said the boys were confident after the good show against Pakistan and hope to execute their plans to put it across to their strong opponents.

However, he was not prepared to call it a revenge series.

“It’s not a revenge. It’s rather a big challenge for us. India is now the number one team in the world.They have played some really good cricket in the last two years. But we come to India after our successes against Pakistan. We are confident,” Chandimal said.

“We have our plans, and we hope to execute them to beat India.”

The Sri Lankan captain was on his first Test tour to India. In fact, Sri Lanka have not won any of the 17 matches in the largest format of the game in India. The hosts have won ten, with the remaining seven ending in a draw.

Chandimal said it was a dream for his side to win a Test match on Indian soil.

“We have never won a Test in India against India. Its a dream for us to win in India,” said the right hand batsman, who averages 42.46 after 41 Tests in which he has scored 2930 runs.

The Sri Lankans will begin the tour with a two-day practice game against a third-string Board President’s XI which starts on Saturday ahead of the first Test at the Eden Gardens from November 16.

Incidentally, this will be Sri Lanka’s first ever Test match at the hallowed venue, and Chandimal said his team was eyeing a good start.

“It’s a pleasure to play in Kolkata. This is a dream for us to play before the Kolkata spectators. We need to have a good start as a team. And we look forward to that,” he said.

Asked how his batsmen plan to tackle the Indian spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, the Sri Lankan skipper said: “They are the number one and number two in the world. We have our plans for them. But why should I tell you?”

Chandimal said apart from Angelo Mathews and Rangana Herath, the other players were on their maiden trip to India, and have a great opportunity to prove themselves.

“For players like Dasun Shanaka, Roshen Silva and Dhananjaya de Silva, they have a very good opportunity playing against India and perform. I am sure they will come up with their best against India”

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