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Sri Lanka will have to come up with a miraculous performance to defeat the Indians, feels Rangana Herath

Dhananjaya de Silva has been roped in into the squad in place of Dinesh Chandimal who has been forced to the sidelines due to pneumonia.

Rangana Herath
Sri Lankan Rangana Herath. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Rangana Herath, who will lead Sri Lanka in the first test against India stated that his team will have to come up with ‘something special’ in order to outsmart the Indians in the three match Test series. Rangana Herath has been given the captain’s armband in the absence of Dinesh Chandimal who has been ruled out of the first Test because of a chest infection.

What Herath had to say:

“We chased 380-odd in our last Test. But India and Zimbabwe are different teams, and we are playing international cricket so that confidence should help the boys. They are the no.1 team at the moment and are playing very good cricket. So this is an interesting and challenging tour for us. We need to do something special,” said Herath on the eve of the first Test.

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Herath mentioned that they will have to be smart in the team selection as they are facing the world’s number one Test side. He said the team will be selected keeping in mind the strengths and weaknesses of both the teams while they will also consider the home advantage.

“We need to look for home advantage. But at the same time, 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 (to judge the situation accordingly),” he added, when asked about his side’s balance between pace and spin options.

Dhananjaya de Silva has been roped in into the squad in place of Dinesh Chandimal who has been forced to the sidelines due to pneumonia. However, he has been released from the hospital and will play the second Test.

Nuwan Pradeep and Malinda Pushpakumara have also been included in the squad. Pushpakumara has a impressive record in first class cricket with 558 wickets to his name in 99 Test matches.

“It’s a big loss for us. As a captain or as a player, Dinesh Chandimal gives his 100 percent to the team. We miss him but I am sure he will come back for either the second Test or in the third Test,” said Herath.

“Malinda Pushpakumara can take over from me, and I totally agree on that. If you take his First-Class career, he has taken more than 500 wickets. Those statistics say that he is a very good bowler.

“Whether I am retired or not, I am sure he is the second option as a left arm spinner. But we haven’t taken a decision whether to play or not Malinda for tomorrow’s game. Even if we play two spinners, he may get a chance,” he added.

Sri Lanka had the better of the Indians in the first Test the last time India toured the island nation in 2015. The Lankans won the match by 63 runs and Dinesh Chandimal had contributed with the bat immensely in that win. India went on to win the series 2-1 in an epic comeback.

However, Rangana Herath preferred to concentrate on the future and is aware of the fact that India has a concrete batting line up.

“Last time, Chandimal scored 160-odd in the first Test and then I also took some wickets. But this time, Indian batting is very strong.

“Whatever happened in the recent past doesn’t count now. We’re starting another new series. We need to start well, especially in the first game. Even we have a game plan for each and every single Indian player,” he said.

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