Kolkata: The Sri Lankan cricket team was scheduled to come to Eden Gardens around 9 a.m. for their practice session ahead of the first Test against India which is set to start from November 16. But they came one hour earlier at the venue at 8 a.m. The hosts wanted to practice early in the morning to get accustomed with the damp weather.
Former Sri Lanka captain went straight in the middle to have a look at the pitch. He was there for more than 25 minutes. The pitch still looks a bit green and that’s the reason why he was seen practicing leaving the deliveries and forward and back foot defence. While doing so pitch curator Sujan Mukherjee too stopped him to get closer to the main strip. Mathews last played at the Eden Gardens when he was with Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders back in 2010. After that a lot of changes have happened at the venue. That could be the reason for him looking at the Eden wicket so closely.
When the Lankans last toured India to play a Test series back in 2009, Mathews scored 149 runs in three Tests. His overall record in Tests against India is not that good. He has scored 761 runs in 12 Test matches with an average of 38.05. He has two centuries and three half centuries against the hosts and his highest score is 110.
Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne and other Lankan cricketers were seen practicing reverse-sweeps to battle against the ace Indian spin-trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and young Kuldeep Yadav. Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal practiced hard in front of the watchful eyes of their batting coach Thilan Samaraweera. The visitors looked determined to avenge their 0-9 loss against India at home and create history at the Eden Gardens by winning their first ever Test on Indian soil.
Veteran Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath looked in pretty good mood. Besides preparing himself ahead of the first Test he is helping the young spinner like Lakshan Sandakan to learn some tricks from him.