Kolkata: Virat Kohli led Indian Test team thumped Sri Lanka 3-0 on their home soil few months back. Now it’s the Lankans who have come to India to play three Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is. Ahead of the first Test at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal don’t want to think about the past and focusing on doing well in next matches. The Lankans did very well against Pakistan in Dubai where they won the Test series 2-0. Chandimal is drawing confidence from that win to take the Indian cricket team’s challenge.
“This will be a challenging for us. Nice to be here with the spectators. We always love to play in India. Don’t want to look back but look forward. We have done well versus Pakistan. The boy are in a good shape and we look forward to take the challenge against India,” said Chandimal during a press-conference in Kolkata today.
The visitors have never won a Test match in India till now. The Lankan skipper is dreaming of beating the World No.1 team at their own backyard and this would be their biggest motivation to play well against Virat Kohli and Co.
“We have never won a Test in India, it’s a dream for everyone. This is a first game we are playing in Kolkata. always plesure in front ofn kolkata spectors. we need to start well as a team and looking forward,” said Chandimal.
India has performed really well against Australia and New Zealand in recent times. According to Chandimal the have to play their top game to compete with India and most importantly they need to execute plans as a team.
“We all know India are a number one team at the moment. They have played some really good cricket in last two years. In our team, we have done really well against Pakistan. We did well as a team. I’m sure guys looking forward to take this challenge. As a team we have something up our sleeves, we need to execute that on the field then we can compete with the Indian team.”
Asked how they will tackle spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja he said: “They are Nos 1 and 2 in the world. They bowled really well last couple of years. I don’t want to tell our plans in front of you.”
“But we have something up our sleeves. You will see our plans in one week’s time and what are we going to do against them.”
Sri Lanka head coach Nic Pothas says the debacle against India taught them a few lessons and they will not be awestruck by the fancied hosts since they are a much better team now, united by a culture and discipline.
India had whitewashed Sri Lanka in all formats – three Tests, five ODIs and one T20I — when they toured the Island nation in July-September.
“Thanks for reminding us now (the defeats). It’s always a pleasure to come here and challenge ourselves against a very very good team,” the South African said.
After their forgettable India tour, Sri Lanka showed character to bounce back and beat Pakistan 2-0 in UAE in the Test series.
“We learnt how Indian team does well and the areas we needed to improve.”
Asked what changed in such a short span of two months, he said: “It’s internal — the discipline, the culture and how the teams stick together. When we took on India, we were all pretty new from the support staff and the players involved.”