India ready to negate Herath threat

Published : 8:55 am  July 26, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 

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First Test at Galle Stadium

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Skipper Rangana Herath said that Sri Lanka will draw confidence from their historic chase against Zimbabwe last week when they take on India, the number one ranked team in the world in the First Test which begins at Galle today (26).


The last time the two teams faced at the Galle International Cricket Stadium in 2015, Herath almost single handedly bowled out the Indians, taking seven for 48 during a chase of 176, as Sri Lanka won the match by 63 runs.

 
That was the only win for the hosts in that series, as India went on to win the next two matches and began their assent to the top of the Test Rankings.


Herath, who will captain the hosts in the absence of Dinesh Chandimal, said this series will be a test for both teams. 
“We are different teams. India are ranked first and Sri Lanka are ranked seventh but we’re playing international cricket. So, it’s going to be interesting and a challenging series for all of us,” Herath said.


“We were chasing 380 plus. It was not an easy task. That confidence will help the boys as we get into this Indian series,” Herath said. 
Despite taking seven wickets in that first Test between the teams in 2015, Herath was less effective for the rest of the series picking up only six wickets in the two Tests that followed but that counted for nothing in this series, the spinner said.

 
“Whatever happened in the recent past, that doesn’t count now. We’re starting another new series. We need to start well, especially in the first game,” Herath said. 

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“We have a game plan for each and every single player. But we’re starting a new game. 

 

We are different teams. India are ranked first and Sri Lanka are ranked seventh but we’re playing international cricket. So, it’s going to be interesting and a challenging series for all of us

 

New challenge and new pressure for every single player,” he said.

 
The pitch will most likely favour the spinners only for the final two days of the Test, Herath said, and added that it was important to look at the abilities of both teams before naming a playing XI. 


“We’ll have to look at different abilities of both teams. We select the team on that basis. So far, we have played with more spinners but we’re playing against the world’s number one team. So, we have a responsibility,” Herath said.

 
While Herath is likely to cause a threat in this Test, India Captain Virat Kohli said his team had learnt how to deal with the left-arm spinner. 


“He’s a quality bowler. Last time he really dented us in that small chase,” Kohli said. “It was actually a great eye-opener for us. We worked on those things in the next two games and were able to win the series. He played both games and the ball was still doing a bit but our batsmen had counter-plans in place.”

 

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“We understand what he brings to the table and we understand what needs to be done,” Kohli added. “I’m sure everyone is taking personal responsibility to plan their innings… We’ve come a long way from that tour. We believe our batsmen will deliver the goods when it’s required.”


India will be without opener Lokesh Rahul who was ruled out of the Test with a viral fever, with Abhinav Mukund the likely replacement, while Sri Lanka may opt to give Danushka Gunathilaka his first Test cap replacing Chandimal. 


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