POSTED AT 09:49 AM 13-12-2017
If we play like we did in Dharamsala we will win series – Thisara
Sri Lanka ODI captain Thisara Perera addressing the press conference at Mohali on Tuesday.
MOHALI, Tuesday - Captain Thisara Perera believes if Sri Lanka produce a repeat of the Dharamsala performance against India in Mohali, they will win the three-match ODI series.
Sri Lanka produced a near flawless performance in Dharamsala and the captain is expecting an encore from his team in the second ODI to win a maiden series in India.
“It is a good opportunity to win the series. Not many teams have won series in India. We want to do something special like we did in Dharamsala,” Perera said on the eve of the second match of the three-ODI series.
Adverse weather conditions in Dharamsala meant Sri Lanka had to spend an extra night in the hills and only arrived on Tuesday morning.
They arrived at the PCA Stadium late afternoon and practiced amid cold and overcast conditions.
Asked if there is an added pressure on the Sri Lankan team, Perera replied in the negative. “It is not pressure. It is another game for us. Everyone knows if we win on Wednesday we will win the series. We will give our 200 per cent,” the all-rounder said before hinting that they would go with the same XI that beat India by seven wickets in the series opener.
The visitors are a confident lot, having ended their 12-match losing run in Dharamsala but they expect India to come back harder, just like they did against New Zealand last month after losing the opening game of the three-match series. “Yes they can but we are focused on our job. It was good to win after 12 losses and we know if we can repeat that performance, we will win on Wednesday,” said Perera.
The Sri Lankan captain has the experience of playing at this ground, having represented Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League. “It looks like a good batting track,” he said referring to the surface, which was covered for major part of the day due to overnight rain.
Talking about the squad, Perera said only Dhananjaya de Silva has fitness issues.
“Only he is not fit out of the 15,” said the skipper. Asked about India not playing Ajinkya Rahane in Dharamsala on a pacer-friendly track, he said: “I am not an Indian selector, so I can’t say why he did not play. Obviously he is a good batsman. I can’t say anything more than that.”
Rohit Sharma leading the side in Virat Kohli’s absence, was not amused in his first ODI as captain. Though, he promised that the team will learn from Dharamsala debacle and bounce back in the remaining two games.
“It is important to thrive in these conditions and come out good. It is an eye-opener for all of us,” Rohit had said after the seven-wicket loss.
He is unlikely to tinker with the playing eleven but there is a possibility that Ajinkya Rahane is picked to shore up the inexperienced batting, especially the middle-order. Rahane sat out of the opening game as the team management only sees him as the back-up opener in the presence of Sharma and Dhawan.
However, he has batted in the middle-order in a few games out of the 84 ODIs he has played.
In the bowling department, the worry for India will be the performance of Hardik Pandya, who again leaked runs as the hosts tried to defend a paltry 112.
He is picked as the bowling all-rounder for the South Africa Test series and needs to be at the top of his game ahead of the crucial tour starting next month.
Considering Sri Lanka cantered to victory in 20.4 overs, spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav did not come on to bowl. They would be itching to get back into action after a month’s gap.
The win must have done a world of good to the islanders’ confidence after the beating they have taken at the hands of India at home and away this season.
Lakmal was lethal again on a helping pitch while Angelo Mathews too made a promising return with the ball.
Also effective on a seaming surface was pacer Nuwan Pradeep. The batting too clicked and completed the modest chase rather comfortably. –