India vs Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal likely to go back to ‘four-bowler’ strategy
Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal has said that unlike five-pronged bowling attack, which yielded results against Pakistan in the humid conditions in the UAE, he may revert to four-bowler theory against India.cricket Updated: Nov 14, 2017 14:35 IST
Wary of India’s strong bowling attack, Sri Lanka are looking to strengthen their batting by discarding their five-bowler theory that helped them win a Test series against Pakistan in UAE.
Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal, while speaking to the media, said that he may revert to four bowlers and pick an all-rounder to strengthen the batting.
“Against Pakistan (in UAE), we played six batters and five bowlers that worked really well especially in the heat. It was never easy to play four bowlers and win a game. But India have got some really good bowlers, so we need to think about that all-rounder position. We will see the pitch and come up with our plans,” Chandimal said during a media interaction.
Sri Lanka have been smarting under a whitewash they suffered at the hands of India two months back. They lost 9-0 across all formats, getting clean-swept in all the series. However, immediately after that, they beat Pakistan 2-0 in the two-Test series. While they played five batsmen, they went in with a five-man bowling attack which comprised Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Gamage, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Pradeep and Dilruwan Perera in the second Test. In the first Test, they had Lakshan Sandakan in place of Gamage.
His counterpart Virat Kohli has for long been a proponent five-pronged bowling attack although with the arrival of Hardik Pandya, he has had the luxury of going with the all-rounder along with four bowlers.
“We all know India are No 1 team at the moment. They have played some really good cricket in the last two years. We have done really well against Pakistan. We did well as a team. I am sure guys are looking forward to take this challenge,” Chandimal said.
The Sri Lanka skipper said that playing India will be a challenge and he doesn’t want the whitewash against India to affect them.
“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 against Pakistan. The boys are in a good shape and we look forward to take the challenge against India,” said the stylish right-hander.
Admitting that R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will pose the biggest threat, Chandimal said, “They are Nos 1 and 2 in the world. They bowled really well last couple of years. I don’t want to tell our plans in front of you. But we have something up our sleeves. You will see our plans in one week’s time and what are we going to do against them.”
The islanders have been touring India since 1982 but they have not been able to win a single Test, leave alone a series.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka head coach Nic Pothas said that the team is smarter than what it was two months back.
“We learnt how Indian team does well and the areas in which we needed to improve.”
Asked what changed, he said, “It’s internal -- the discipline, the culture and how the teams stick together. When we took on India, we were all pretty new from the support staff and the players involved.”
Stressing the need to focus on their strengths, Pothas urged his players not to get enamoured by India. “We focus on ourselves. The mistake you can make here is come and be infatuated with the Indian side and concentrating too much on them. We know they are a good side. But we played them months ago.”