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Thisara Perera wants ‘something special’ from Sri Lanka in ODI series vs India

Sri Lanka have struggled against India in recent times and newly-appointed captain Thisara Perera stressed on the need for ‘something special’ to reverse that trend ahead of the upcoming series.

cricket Updated: Dec 09, 2017 23:25 IST
Abhishek Paul
Abhishek Paul
Hindustan Times, Dharamshala
India vs Sri Lanka,Indian cricket team,Sri Lankan cricket team
Sri Lankan captain Thisara Perera jumps for a catch during their practice session ahead of the first ODI against India at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamshala on Saturday. (PTI)

A 9-0 cleansweep by a familiar rival at home is a record that will hurt anyone for a long time. Same with Sri Lanka, who were defeated in Tests, ODIs and T20s by India in August-September.

Two months down the line, the story hasn’t changed much. India beat Sri Lanka 1-0 in Tests at home and now start the three-ODI series, beginning on Sunday, as favourites.

The visitors have appointed Thisara Perera as the new captain in a side that sees the return of several senior players.

“We have a couple of players who have come back from injury. It is a balanced side at the moment. Hopefully we can do something special,” Perera said at the pre-match press conference on Saturday.

READ | India vs Sri Lanka: Thisara Perera’s turn to prove himself in game of musical chairs

Sri Lanka have included nine new players in the ODI side who were not part of the Test series. The most prominent among them are batsmen Kusal Perera, all-rounder Asela Gunaratne and fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep.

Angelo can bowl

Perera is happy he will have an extra bowling option in Angelo Mathews. “He is bowling for this series. He didn’t bowl in the Tests. He is prepared for ODIs and T20s. That gives us an ability to balance the side. Hopefully, he can do something special for us,” Perera said.

He added that players were now fine after facing some breathing problem in New Delhi during the third Test at Feroz Shah Kotla ground.

READ | Indian cricket team faces familiar rivals Sri Lanka under new captain Rohit Sharma

“I didn’t take part in the Test series. Some guys were struggling with breathing. Now everything is fine. All are under control. Here the weather is good,” he said.

“We have prepared well. We had two good sessions over the last two days. We have a nice balance in the side. Mentally and fitness-wise we have done well at the moment.”

First Published: Dec 09, 2017 16:53 IST