Sri Lanka look to Windies series to improve ranking
Sri Lanka's skipper said today he hoped his team would use the upcoming series with the West Indies to climb up Test rankings after the retirement of star spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.cricket Updated: Nov 13, 2010 11:47 IST
Sri Lanka's skipper said on Saturday he hoped his team would use the upcoming series with the West Indies to climb up Test rankings after the retirement of star spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.
"We don't have Murali for the first time in a full series since his retirement," captain Kumar Sangakkara said in a blog post, referring to Muralitharan, who quit in July with a world record 800 Test wickets.
"But we have a varied bowling attack and each bowler needs to shoulder some of the responsibility for replacing the great man," he said ahead of the three-Test series starting in Galle on Monday.
Sri Lanka, currently ranked third behind India and South Africa in the International Cricket Council Test rankings, are hoping to rise another notch with a series win against the West Indies.
"We need to refocus because this tour is an important stepping stone. We want to win the Test series and we want to improve our value as a Test side," the skipper said.
The West Indies tour also includes five one-dayers that will be played across Sri Lanka's three World Cup venues in Colombo (Khettarama), the central hillside town of Pallekele (in Kandy) and Hambantota in the deep south.
The Kandy and Hambantota venues are brand new 25,000-seater stadiums that will be used for preparation ahead of the next February's World Cup that will be played across India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
With the Sri Lankan venues nearing completion, Sangakkara hoped the team would not lose the home advantage ahead of their World Cup preparations.
"We also - hopefully under lights - have a chance to play at both Hambantota and Khettarama. This will really help us to get a feel for the new grounds that will feature in our World Cup programme," he said.