Our dream is to win a Test in India: Chandimal
November 10, 2017 03:12 pm
Sri Lanka might have arrived in India after recording a 2-0 ‘away’ Test series win against Pakistan, but the Dinesh Chandimal-led side is well aware of the fact that playing India in their own backyard represents a far bigger challenge.
“We did really well against Pakistan and the boys are in a good shape,” the skipper said during the team’s first interaction with the media at the team hotel on Thursday, a day after arriving in the city. “We know India are the No. 1 team at the moment and have seen them play some really good cricket in the last two years. This will be a challenging series for us,” he added.
Even history is not on Sri Lanka’s side. The islanders, who played their first official Test series here in 1982, are yet to win a Test match on Indian soil. “We have never won a Test in India. So it’s a dream for us to win one this time. We need to start well in this series,” the skipper felt.
In a way it will be virtually a back-to-back series for the two teams which had battled it out in Sri Lanka earlier this year. The Sri Lankans suffered a rare whitewash (9-0), losing all matches across all three formats when India toured the island nation in July-September. Looking back on the debacle, Sri Lanka head coach Nic Pothas felt it was huge learning experience for his team. “We learnt how Indian team does well and the areas we needed to improve. Not many teams have come here and won. It’s always a pleasure to come here and challenge ourselves against a very good team,” the South African said.
Asked what has changed in a short span of two months, he said: “It’s mostly internal. When we took on India, we were all pretty new - from the support staff to the players involved. It is a more disciplined unit and the players have stuck together. We are a different side now,” he cautioned.
Pothas feels Sri Lanka should not get carried away by their Test series win against Pakistan as the conditions in UAE were vastly different. “(In UAE) we were playing in 41degrees Celsius heat and they had just lost two of their legends (Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan). It made our job easier.”
Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal’s comment last month that he had received a special blessing from a “meyni” ahead of their Test series against Pakistan in UAE, raised eyebrows in cricketing circles. The Lankan cricket board later played down the issue by stating that the comment had been misinterpreted. The skipper, however, faced similar questions on Thursday.
Team manager Asanka Gurusinha was quick to come to Chandimal’s rescue, saying, “He (Chandimal) has answered some questions back home. In cricket, you got to get out there and perform on the field... Each player has to do that. That’s the way the Sri Lankan team also believes in. Yes, we have our own religious beliefs, but at the end of the day, you go there and just play,” former Sri Lankan batsman said.
Source: Time of India