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4:29 am - Saturday November 18, 2017

Sri Lanka has armours to challenge Indian brigade: Dinesh Chandimal

Agencies, Kolkata

The visiting Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal today sounded confidence in facing Virat Kohli’s Indian brigade saying they have also adequate arsenals to thwart the Test No 1 side.

After having a poor run recently in the series against Pakistan, team Sri Lanka arrived here yesterday to play three Test matches beginning November 16 at Eden Gardens— three ODIs and as many T20s up to December 24 in several parts of India.

After holding first practice match before starting 2-day warm up against Indian Board XI at Eden from November 11, Dinesh Chandimal looked confident of his side saying they have several plans to face India in all forms of cricket.

India made 9-0 against the island nation in all formats in a full series two months back. The islanders also in last series against Pakistan in UAE, except the Test series, they tasted bitter a lot as the faced clean sweep on ODIs and T20s.

Sri Lanka roared back after India’s defeat to halt Pakistan’s unbeaten run in the UAE with a 2-0 result in September-October Test series, as Chandimal said they would renew the challenge in Indian tour.

“We all know India is a number one team at the moment. They have played some really good cricket in last two years. We have done really well against Pakistan. We did well as a team. I am sure my boys are looking forward to take this challenge,” the Sri Lankan skipper said.

“As a team we have something up our sleeves, we need to execute that on the field then we can compete with the Indian team,” he said ahead of the first Test at Eden Gardens from November 16.

“This will be a challenging series for us. It’s nice to be here with the spectators, we love to play here. I don’t want to look back but look forward. We have done well versus Pakistan. The boys are in a good shape and we look forward to take the challenge against India.”

He insisted that “We have never won a Test in India, it’s a dream for everyone. This is a first game we are playing in Kolkata. It’s always a pleasure playing in front of Kolkata spectators. We need to start well as a team and looking forward.”

Sri Lanka’s head coach Nic Pothas said they have now a new challenge before them in next 7 weeks and would like to face it on pitch. Virat Kohli led India had swept all three Tests, five ODIs and one T20I in their tour of Sri Lanka in July-September.

“Thanks for reminding us now. There’s not too many people who have the joy of playing India back to back. It’s always a pleasure to come here and challenge ourselves against a very very good team,” the South African said.

After their forgettable outing against India, Sri Lanka showed character to bounce back and make a 2-0 sweep against Pakistan in UAE. Terming the series as a huge learner, Pothas said: “If we didn’t learn from a very good team then that would have been a biggest ever… We learnt what India team do very well. The areas we needed to improve.

Sri Lanka squad:

Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Lahiru Thirimanne (vice- captain), Niroshan Dickwella (wicketkeeper), Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Gamage, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando, Dasun Shanaka and Roshen Silva.

Posted in: Sports

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