Sri Lanka determined to beat India on Indian soil after 44 years!
CRICKET: Sri Lanka will be looking for that elusive winning formula
when they tour India for a 3-Test, five ODI and T20 series scheduled to
begin on November 8.
Sangakkara - A lot is expected from him in his batting and
forceful leadership in tackling the forceful Indian team.
Muralitharan - The Vice-Captain of the side and the Indian team
will have their hands full in countering his spin bowling.
Jayawardena - Had gathered a lot of experience from his
captaincy earlier and is in the right frame of mind to make many
fruitful knocks on tour.
The team left yesterday (Saturday) evening for India on a 55-day
tour. They will play a three-day “warm up” game prior to 1st Test which
begins in Ahmedabad on the 16th of November.
It was way back in 1965 January, Sri Lanka, then Ceylon beat a
fully-fledged Indian side led by the Nawab of Pataudi (Mansur Ali Khan)
by 4 wickets in Ahmedabad in an unofficial Test. The Ceylonese were led
by Michael Tissera. Since then, Sri Lanka still has to beat India in an
official Test match on Indian soil. Sri Lanka has played 29 Tests and
won five-all at home and India has won 11 matches and 13 matches have
been drown. The first Test on the present tour will be from Nov. 16 to
20 at Ahmedabad after 44 years. Sri Lanka has also not beaten either
Australia or South Africa in an away Test match.
“Besides India, we have got a couple, Australia and South Africa
where we have not won Test matches away from home, so those are the
challenges over the next few years. After 44 years in India we are
trying to win a Test match. These are the challenges where the team has
to look forward to.” said the Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara.
“We go to India, as all our teams have done before in the past and
come back just like that. We got to give everything and try to win that
last frontier for us in India, and lay confidence on that, and move to
the One-day series”, the Sri Lanka captain said. Sangakkara said that
there are some problems to be sorted out. He hinted that one of the
wicketkeepers either Prasanna Jayawardena or debutant Kaushal Silva
could fit into the vacant openers slot if necessary.
“Dilshan opening the innings has been very good for us. If he becomes
successful in the Test format as he has been this year in the shorter
versions, lot of the opposition bowlers will be under pressure. In Test
cricket there are many gaps to be exploited, but if he can grind it out
and identify the period that he got to be careful and if he can go with
a proper mindset of attacking all the time it’s great. But he runs the
risk of playing one shot too many”, the Sri Lankan captain lamented.
“Having Dilshan at the top there are advantages as well as
disadvantages. So if there is a problem at the top, we have always
options open down the order so that he won’t be under pressure,” added
Sangakkara was uncertain of the Indian pitches that he will come
across and said that he had the fast bowlers and three spinners who have
done well against India in the past and whatever wicket they come across
he had the balance to counter. He also expressed his confidence in the
middle order batting.” I think the middle order batting has been doing
really well for the past couple of years and that form has to last and
that’s the batsmen’s job to be consistent. Wherever you perform, you got
to go out there and score runs. The success of a team lasts as long as
the batsmen do their job. We should understand if we don’t score there
are enough of players waiting in the list to come and take the
responsibilities. So one cannot rest and be complacent,” the Lankan
He said that Sri Lanka got to keep looking over our shoulders and
make sure that we put enough distance between our nearest competitors.
That kind of competition has to develop for everyone to keep on pushing
for places in the side.
Sangakkara said that India has a very good side, they have their core
batting group. Now they have a few youngsters around them who are doing
really well. We beat them in Sri Lanka with that same side. Yuraj and
Dhoni will not be there. Now we have two extra challenges when we go
there, but again those are the things that you got to accept in cricket.
I think we got to go to India with no baggage, nothing in our heads with
clear minds, no complaints and the right attitude and enjoy India for 55
days. This is a tough task,” Sangakkara said.
The referral system which was introduced during the last Indian tour
of Sri Lanka,which Sri Lanka won 2-1 will be once again in force during
“Hopefully the referral system will be to our advantage. The system
is good and I don’t think anyone has to be afraid of it, because the
truth will be revealed, whether it is marginal or not the batsman has to
accept it and the bowlers will be happy having the slight advantage. So
as a captain, I want to be entirely satisfied with the playing
conditions and the referral system is very good, whether it works for us
or against us I am for it”, Sangakkara added.
The Sri Lanka Test squad for the tour of India:
Kumar Sangakkara (Captain), Muttiah Muralitharan (Vice captain),
Mahela Jayawardena, T.M. Dilshan, Tharanga Paranavithana, Thilan
Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Thilina Kandamby, Prasanna Jayawardena,
Kaushal Silva, Chanaka Welegedera, Thilan Thushara Mirando, Nuwan
Kulasekera, Dhammika Prasad, Rangana Herath, Ajantha Mendis. Stand byes:
Dilhara Fernando, Chamara Kapugedera, Malinda Warnapura, Suraj Randev.
Test match itinerary: November 8: arrive in Mumbai, Nov. 11-13:
three-day match at Mumbai, Nov. 16-20: 1st Test Ahmedabad, Nov. 24-28:
2nd Test at Kanpur, Dec. 2-6: 3rd Test Mumbai.
December 9: T20 International at Nagpur. Dec. 12: T20 International
ODI series: December 15: 1st ODI at Rajkot, Dec. 18: 2nd ODI
Vishakapatnam, Dec. 21: 3rd ODI at Cuttack, Dec. 24: 4th ODI Kolkata,
Dec. 27: 5th ODI Delhi.