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Sri Lanka cricket team arrives in Kolkata ahead of first Test against India

The Sri Lanka cricket team, led by Dinesh Chandimal, will play three Tests, three ODIs and three T20 Internationals against Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team starting November 16

cricket Updated: Nov 08, 2017 20:15 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Kolkata
India vs Sri Lanka,Indian cricket team,Sri Lanka cricket team
Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal along with teammates arrives at the airport in Kolkata ahead of their 1st Test against India.(PTI)

The Dinesh Chandimal-led Sri Lanka team arrived in Kolkata for their six-week tour of India that starts with the first of the three-Test series, beginning here on November 16. Sri Lanka will play three Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is.

The 15-member squad will hit the nets from Thursday, ahead of their two-day practice game against a third-string Board President’s XI at the JU (2nd Campus ground), starting Saturday.

The last time Sri Lanka played Test matches in India was seven years back in 2009, a three-match series that they had lost 0-2. Earlier this year, India beat Sri Lanka 3-0 in Tests followed by a clean sweep in five ODIs and one T20I.

Sri Lanka had a better show against Pakistan, winning the away Test series in UAE 2-0. But they were routed 5-0 in the ODI series that followed.

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Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas made no bones about the fact that this India tour will be the toughest undertaken by his team. “You know they in my opinion are the best team in the world. And certainly in their conditions makes it even tougher. So would be a great challenge for our guys, something that we’re prepared for, but it’s going to be a tough, tough series to go,” Pothas was quoted as saying by SNTV ahead of their departure.

In the context of their last performance against India, Pothas said it was important his team remains competitive. “You know when we would take great pride in being competitive and I think you know certainly for the Test matches and for the T20s in Pakistan, we were competitive. So that’s, that’s going to be the main goal --- to push India as hard as possible. We try and sneak a win off them that would be great,” he said.

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All-rounder Angelo Mathews hopes to take forward the confidence of winning Tests against Pakistan to India. “I think the boys did really well against Pakistan. That confidence we are hoping to carry forward in the Indian series. I know it’s going to be different outfit, different wicket, but that confidence we can carry forward to the Indian series and I’m sure that the boys are all geared up,” he said, adding there was no reason to believe they can’t win.

“If we play to our potential, we can. Yeah the recent history, the recent past Test series and also the one-day series which was played in Sri Lanka wasn’t that great for us but I think you know we can look forward to it because after that we picked ourselves and we played in Dubai and played really well to beat Pakistan,” he said.

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.

First Published: Nov 08, 2017 16:00 IST