Dinesh Chandimal focuses on taking positives from "devastating" India series

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Dinesh Chandimal focuses on taking positives from "devastating" India series

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SportsCafe Desk


Dinesh Chandimal has asserted that the Sri Lanka team will try to take positives from the last series against India where they suffered a humiliating 9-0 loss. Chandimal also confirmed that Angelo Mathews would bat at the number four position but he won't be available to bowl in the Test series.

India showed their dominance in the all three formats of the game when they toured Sri Lanka earlier this year. The Sri Lanka skipper said that they learned hard lessons from that series.

"They have been outstanding. They have done a lot of hard work, on and off the field. They are really good as a team in every format. They look really balanced. We all know India are the number one side at the moment in Tests. They have played some really good cricket last two years. It was a tough series in Sri Lanka and as a team, we have learnt a lot from that time," Chandimal said ahead of the opening Test against India at the Eden Gardens as quoted by PTI.

He also confirmed that the senior most player of the team Mathews would bat at the all important number four position in the first Test against India. 

"He gives us confidence as a batting unit. He will bat at number four. He has all the experience and at the top of the order and we will get the maximum out of it,” he said.

Since August 2015, Mathews is waiting to score a Test hundred and during that phase, he has aggregated 917 runs in 32 innings at an average of 28.65 with his overall average slipping to 44.93 from 52.06. Interestingly, he scored his last hundred (102) against India in Colombo.

"We are looking forward to his experience. He was unbelievable in 2013-14. Hope he will put his hands up and do best."

Due to a calf injury, Mathews missed the entire Pakistan series that Sri Lanka won in the UAE. Now, he is back in action but he will be able to offer some more depth to the middle order.

"We will miss Mathews as a bowler as he gives us more confidence and can balance the side really well. Unfortunately, with his injury, he can't bowl in Tests."

Playing their first Test in India since 2009, Sri Lanka will also eye a maiden win in the longer format as they have lost 10 matches and drawn the remaining six in India. Chandimal hoped that their batsmen and bowlers would make the best use of Eden Gardens green top pitch in the series opener game.

"In our last series here, we played really good against their seamers. We are confident to play on the grassy conditions and bouncy pitches.

"We are more than capable of playing in this kind of conditions. We need to get a good start, especially the top four and then we can continue," he said.

Sri Lanka successfully bounced back from the memories of past defeats as they won a Test series by 2-0 against Pakistan in UAE.

"We just need to get positives of the last series. We are more confident after winning against Pakistan. We just tried to play five bowlers, as a good team you need 20 wickets to win a match. Then fielding is one area we are looking at and keep our energies up for five days.

"The weather was really hot in UAE, we used five bowlers... Here we saw the pitch yesterday, it looked green and hard. Maybe, the seamers will come into play in this game,” the 27-year-old stated.

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