We haven’t given up hopes of beating India - Chandimal | Daily News
Thirimanne out, Dhananjaya, Roshen, Sandakan named in 12

We haven’t given up hopes of beating India - Chandimal

Dinesh Chandimal addressing the press conference ahead of today’s third Test against India.
Dinesh Chandimal addressing the press conference ahead of today’s third Test against India.

DELHI, Friday – There’s not much you can do to a team when it is down and out, the only way out of it is up and captain Dinesh Chandimal is hoping the change will at least come in the third and final cricket Test against India starting at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium here on Saturday.

“We have never won a Test match in India and I still have hopes that we can win this game. But as a team we need to do well on the day. If we can do that, definitely we can compete with the Indians. That’s what we are looking forward to,” said Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal at the pre-match press conference.

“In our life also we have ups and downs the thing is if you are losing and if you are going down you learn so many things how to come out of it. I’ve learnt a lot of things in the past also when I was captain in 2014 and have executed them till now. It’s a hard time for the team but I have a really good feeling we can change these things going forward,” he said.

For Sri Lanka to make the captain’s dream a reality their top order batsmen must deliver. It has been the core problem in the past two years or so leading to Sri Lanka suffering two 3-0 whitewashes at the hands of South Africa and India this year.

They are already 1-0 down in the current three-match series and in danger of losing 2-0 unless they come up with a noteworthy batting performance which they have not produced against Virat Kohli’s side in the last five Tests.

“That’s a problem we have over the last 1½ years especially the top five batsmen have to play long innings. We talk a lot about a lot of things at meetings. The problem is in the middle, where we are not executing them well according to the situation. Sometimes we don’t realise the situations, sometimes the conditions. We need to first assess them that’s the problem we have,” said Chandimal.

“As batters when you are in the middle, you need to execute team plans and your plans. That’s what we lost in the last one year or so and I am sure the guys will have different plans in the tomorrow’s game and they will do their best. The last game the batting let us down we had a really good chat after that and good meetings. As a team we have something up our sleeve I am sure the batsmen will come up with different ideas.”

For the record Rangana Herath’s innings of 67 he scored in the drawn first Test at Kolkata stands as the highest individual score made by a Lankan batsman so far in the series. That alone sums up how badly the top order batters have fared.

Chandimal took some pressure off former captain Angelo Mathews who has been targetted as one of the reasons for Sri Lanka’s poor scores as he has failed to deliver being the most experienced batter in the line-up with 71 Test caps.

“Mathews is the senior batsman we have got in our batting line up but not only him there are other senior batsmen as well. Even the youngsters they have to take the responsibility when they are in the middle. So it’s not only about Angelo but others too have to stand up and perform in the middle,” said Chandimal.

Mathews is averaging 21 with one fifty in the current series and has not made a Test hundred since August 2015 against India in 19 Tests.

India has not lost a Test match at this venue for 30 years the last defeat coming in 1987 at the hands of West Indies when Viv Richards hit an unbeaten century to steer his side home by five wickets.


As expected Lahiru Thirimanne has been left out of the squad of 12 named for today’s Test with Dhananjaya de Silva coming into replace him. Thirimanne who made a return to the Test side against Pakistan in August has failed to fulfill the role he was expected to and has in the ongoing series been dismissed playing some rather bad shots.

However the big question is whether De Silva will bat at number 3 or as an opener because the team management are of the view that Sadeera Samarawickrama who has opened in the 3 Tests he has played so far is better equipped to play in that vital position. If that happens, then De Silva will be asked to open the batting with Dimuth Karunaratne. It’s not that De Silva has not performed the role of opener before he has done so on a number of occasions in domestic cricket.

Also in the 12 is middle-order bat Roshen Silva whose inclusion will depend on what combination Sri Lanka’s wants to go with for the Test 6-5 or 7-4. In the first two Tests they had gone with six batsmen and five bowlers. The question is by going with seven batsmen whether they would risk putting extra burden on the bowlers knowing India’s batting strength where in the Nagpur Test they ran up a total in excess of 600 with four batsmen scoring hundreds.

With veteran spinner Rangana Herath out of the Test with a stiff back Lakshan Sandakan who bowls left-arm chinaman will replace him. From their 15-member squad Sri Lanka have left out Thirimanne, Dasun Shanaka and Jeffrey Vandersay (who came as replacement for Herath).

LANKAN 12: Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Niroshan Dickwella, Roshen Silva, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Gamage, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando. 


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