Monday, November 9, 2009

Sri Lanka look to break India jinx

MUMBAI: Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara is determined to set the record straight when his team contests a three-Test series against India starting next week.

Sri Lanka, currently the number two Test side behind South Africa, have not won any of their 14 Test matches on six previous visits to India since 1982.

"It's a record we hope to rectify," Sangakkara said on Monday ahead of the seven-week tour that includes three Tests, two Twenty20 matches and five One-Day Internationals.

Sangakkara said the pressure would be on India to maintain their unbeaten record, and hoped Australia's One-day series win over Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side would help his inexperienced team.

"We know we have not won here and we need to try and change that," the Sri Lankan captain said. "We are here to relax, enjoy and not worry about history, and try and put as much pressure on the Indians as possible.

"It will be interesting to see how India react to the defeat against an under-strength Australian side. Some react positively while some don't".

Australia took a decisive 4-2 lead in the seven-match series on Sunday despite having at least nine One-day regulars on the injured list.

Sangakkara, former captain Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Thilan Samaraweera and star spinner Muttiah Muralitharan are the only ones in the touring side to have played a Test in India before.

But Sangakkara said the lack of Test experience was not a handicap.

"Inexperience is sometimes a good thing as the Indian batsmen have not played our fast bowlers regularly in the longer form of the game which can work to our advantage," he said.

"Sometimes a fresh perspective, attitude and enthusiasm could be an added bonus".

The tourists play a three-day practice match against the Indian Board President's XI in Mumbai from Wednesday, before the first Test opens in Ahmedabad on November 16.

The remaining Tests will be played in Kanpur (November 24-28) and Mumbai (December 2-6).

Sri Lanka's Test squad: Kumar Sangakkara (capt), Muttiah Muralitharan, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Tharanga Paranavitana, Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Thilina Kandamby, Prasanna Jayawardene, Kaushal Silva, Chanaka Welegedara, Thilan Thushara, Nuwan Kulasekera, Dammika Prasad, Rangana Herath, Ajantha Mendis.


Nov 11-13: vs Board President's XI, Mumbai

Nov 16-20: First Test, Ahmedabad

Nov 24-28: Second Test, Kanpur

Dec 2-6: Third Test, Mumbai

Dec 9: T20 international, Nagpur

Dec 12: T20 international, Mohali

Dec 15: First One-dayer, Rajkot

Dec 18: Second One-dayer, Vishakapatnam

Dec 21: Third One-dayer, Cuttack

Dec 24: Fourth One-dayer, Kolkata

Dec 27: Fifth One-dayer, Delhi

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