Sri Lanka batsmen need to step up to avoid whitewash vs India: Dinesh Chandimal
Sri Lanka will face a confident Indian side in third and the final Test of the series at Pallekele -- starting Saturday -- and captain Dinesh Chandimal wants his batsmen to step up in order to avoid a 3-0 whitewash.india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Aug 11, 2017 19:50 IST
Sri Lanka will take some confidence from their second innings showing in the second Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC), but captain Dinesh Chandimal is aware his team’s chances of salvaging pride in the third Test will depend on how the batsmen measure up in the first innings at the Pallekele International Stadium.
Sri Lanka paid the price for poor batting in the first innings at Galle and Colombo, allowing India to run away with the games. Most shocking was their capitulation for 183 in the first innings at SSC.
“That’s (batting in the first innings) very important. That’s what we’ve been discussing. Especially, in a Test match, you have to bat a minimum of 120 overs. If you can do that, it will help either to win or draw the game. As a batting unit, we want to do that in future,” said Chandimal on the eve of the third Test.
The captain himself flopped in both the innings of the second Test, leaving his hopes on Kusal Mendis and Dimuth Karunaratne. He admitted, two down in the series his team was feeling the pressure. “Pressure is always there. We’re two down but still we’re really a good team. As a team, we’re hoping to win this game. If we can do that, definitely we can get more confidence and go forward.”
While observing the wicket would aid the pacers, Chandimal warned India: “As a team we have something up our sleeves.”
Hurt by the abject surrender, in a last-ditch attempt to lift the morale of the team, the Sri Lanka Board arranged a team meeting a day after the rout at SSC, inviting Aravinda de Silva to give a pep talk.
“That was a very important meeting. All the players were there and we discussed how we could take our game forward. How we’re going to win games. All the players contributed to that. At the end of the meeting, all the players were in an upbeat mood and that looks really good,” said Chandimal, adding Aravinda told his men “not to worry about the past and poor performances. It’s always about confidence.”
It remains to be seen if Aravinda’s message seeps through and has an impact. With the kind of form the visitors are in, Chandimal & Co could certainly do with some extra motivation.