Delhi track a lot like Nagpur, Dinesh Chandimal says ahead of series-decider vs India

Dinesh Chandimal, the Sri Lanka skipper, has expressed surprise that India, who are keen to play on green pitches in order to prepare for the South Africa series, has prepared

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Dec 01, 2017 15:41 IST
Sidharth Gulati
Sidharth Gulati
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India vs Sri Lanka,Dinesh Chandimal,Sri Lanka national cricket team
Dinesh Chandimal has said the youngsters need to step up as Sri Lanka aim to bounce back from a horror run against Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team. (AP)

Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal is surprised India, keen to play on green pitches to prepare for the South Africa tour, have laid out a track for the third Test at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground that is closer to Nagpur where spin played a key role.

“If you look at the wicket here, I’m not sure they’ve prepared it for South Africa. It looks like the Nagpur pitch,” Chandimal said at the pre-match news conference on Friday. “The Kolkata track was similar to the ones in South Africa but these two are not like that. So, I’m also surprised, they are saying they’re preparing for South Africa and they’ve given these kind of wickets.”

While India and Sri Lanka pacers made merry in Kolkata – claiming 32 out of the 35 scalps -- the Nagpur pitch deteriorated by the second day. As a result, spinners from both teams accounted for 17 of the 26 wickets to fall.

However, Chandimal said the Sri Lanka team is not bothered about India thinking about their next series as the visitors are totally focused on improving their performance.

“We never underestimate any team. We have to give our best. It’s up to them that they are thinking about the next series. We as a team are thinking about this series. As a team we need to control what we can,” he added.

Chandimal defended Angelo Mathews, saying it’s not just about the former Sri Lanka skipper, but the youngsters too need to up their game. Mathews, struggling for form, was criticised after throwing his wicket away in Nagpur as the visitors slid towards a big defeat.

“It was a bad loss in the second game (Nagpur). As a batting unit we need to do well, especially in the first innings we need to score a big total – say around 350 – to stay in the game. Angelo came after an injury. It’s difficult for him. But it’s not only about him. Others have to stand up and perform when they are in the middle.”

Chandimal rued Rangana Herath’s absence, as the senior left-arm spinner flew home after the Nagpur Test due to a back injury.

“Rangana is a big loss. Unfortunately, he got a back injury. He’s an asset but we’ve got Lakshan Sandakan (Chinaman bowler) and Jeffrey Vandersay (leg-spinner). So, it’s a good opportunity for them,” he said.

Asked about the batting order, he said: “We’re going to do a few changes but we haven’t decided on them so far.”

Sri Lanka No 3 Lahiru Thirimanne could be left out after being criticised for not showing the temperament needed to succeed in Tests. Chandimal sounded confident about the team’s chances, pointing out that the dream of winning a Test in India was still alive. The hosts lead 1-0.

“Of course, we as a team are looking at it. We have never won a Test here. Still, I’ve hope we can win. That’s what we are looking forward to.”

First Published: Dec 01, 2017 15:35 IST