NAGPUR: The success of an international team is how they quickly learn from their mistakes and in this aspect according to captain Dinesh Chandimal his side has learnt a lot from the past series.
Sri Lanka was whitewashed 3-0 in the Test series and the matches failed to go the distance. However in the drawn first Test at Kolkata last week, Chandimal’s team showed some character to be in front of India for most of the match with the exception of the final day when they almost undid the all the good work of the previous four days.
“Calcutta was a good Test match apart from that last session. We’ve learnt a lot from the last Indian series in Sri Lanka. The most important thing is we came here to win the series. Our attitude hasn’t changed,” said Chandimal ahead of today’s second Test against India at the Vidharba Cricket Association Stadium.
“If you take the Indian team, they are a very good side. It is a big challenge for us as a team to come here and win a game or a series. But I am sure we can do some miracle here. We have to do our basics, stick to our game plans. In the middle we have to execute our game plans. If we can do that we can put the Indians under pressure. We are looking at that as a team,” he said.
“Our fielding also has made a huge difference there’s a lot of energy. We have looked at a six-five combination or six-four plus all-rounder. That’s the combination we are looking at. Most importantly we have come here with a mindset to win a Test match.”
Contrary to India wanting to make fast green top pitches for the Sri Lanka series in preparation for their next Test series in South Africa, the pitch prepared for today’s game is far from the one that was produced in Kolkata.
“We saw the wicket. It is a good Test wicket, that’s what I feel. The first few days will be good for batters. Then it might turn. That’s the kind of wickets I can think it is,” said Chandimal.
“There’s not much grass like in Calcutta. We saw so much grass at Eden Gardens but this is much less. This looks a good Test pitch. It’s a challenge for us as a team. Everyone is in good shape and looking forward to this game.”
Chandimal believes that his key spinner Rangana Herath will have a role to play on this surface. On a seamer friendly pitch Herath bowled only eight overs in the entire match and went wicketless.
“We also know that Ashwin and Jadeja are ranked pretty high. With the green tops we got in Calcutta, Rangana wasn’t that effective. Of course Rangana is a wily old fox. On these wickets he can be handy. We have Dilruwan (Perera) as well in our ranks. And against Ashwin and Jadeja we have some plans up our sleeves,” said Chandimal.
If at all Sri Lanka want to make a change it will fast bowler Lahiru Gamage who didn’t live upto expectations on that helpful track.
“We have not decided on anything with regard to the side. Calcutta was his second game. His first game was in Dubai and he did well against Pakistan. You can have a bad day and you can have a bad game. He is a really good player,” said Chandimal. “He has lots of experience having played quite a bit of domestic cricket. I am sure he will be a good asset especially when bowling on a wicket like this. We will make a call on the side tomorrow morning.”
During this time of the year the light is certainly going to be a problem during the Test. Even an early start at 9.15 am doesn’t guarantee the full quota of 90 overs for the day.