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Hopeful Sri Lanka keen on rewriting history

cricket Updated: Nov 08, 2009 23:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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In a country where cricketers are treated like demigods, terming them a “pampered lot” could be a gross under-statement.

The situation is no different in Sri Lanka. But the Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara is determined not to let this larger-than-life image obstruct his young team's chance to rewrite history.

The visitors have never won a Test in India in 14 attempts since the first bi-lateral series in 1982.

The Lankan skipper, however, is keen to set the record straight this time around, quite apparent in how he had urged his team-mates to concentrate just on their game and not complain about the conditions before leaving for the tour.

On Sunday, he again made it clear by brushing aside the questions on playing conditions and security, and instead concentrated on projecting his team as a “well-balanced unit” with the ability to change history.

“We want to achieve something everyday, enjoy playing in India and change the record of never winning a Test here. It's India's responsibility not to let us do that,” said Sangakkara.

“For us it's just a statistic since most of us have been here only once (for Test series) before. It's also a great opportunity to change that. We will try to put as much pressure as possible on India,” he added.

The 16-member squad arrived in Mumbai on Sunday to play three Test matches, five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 games. The visitors will begin the campaign with a three-day warm up game against the Board President's XI on Wednesday, ahead of the first Test in Ahmedabad on November 16.

Explaining his stress on concentrating on cricket, the Lankan skipper said complaints and excuses are negatives.

“Cricketers are a pampered lot and sometimes we tend to complain when things don't go our way. And that sort of attitude doesn't help,” he said.

Apart from the right attitude, the Sri Lankan team management will also need to find the right combination to take on India.

“We have a got good balance in the squad. We will look at the warm-up game and training sessions, and then decide on the final XI,” he said.

Sangakkara singled out all-rounder Angelo Mathews as the key figure in the squad, saying his form gives them an option to play an additional spinner or a medium pacer.

The Sri Lankan skipper also brushed aside the suggestions that the teams visiting India are now better prepared due to the Indian Premier League. “Playing in T20 and in Tests is altogether different,” he said.