Sri Lanka have never won a Test match on Indian soil, losing ten and drawing seven of 17 games thus far. On their current tour to India, they are scheduled to play a three-match Test series, followed by as many One-Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals each.
Dinesh Chandimal, the captain of the Test team, said on Thursday (November 9) that it was his dream to win a Test in India.
“We have never won a Test against India in India,” said Chandimal in Kolkata, a day after the team’s arrival. “So it’s a dream to win here. It’s always a pleasure to play in front of the Kolkata spectators. As I said, we need to start well as a team and we are looking forward to that.”
Earlier this year, Sri Lanka were whitewashed in all the three formats at home by Virat Kohli’s team. But Chandimal was hopeful that the hard work put in by his men prior to this series will fetch them the results even though most of the players, including himself, are visiting India for the first time for a Test series.
“Actually, this is my first Test tour to India,” he said. “Apart from Angelo (Mathews) and Rangana (Herath), all others are on their first tour to India. It’s a good challenge for each and every one. We have worked really hard. Especially before coming here, we did a lot of practice back home.
“You can see new faces – Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva and also, Sadeera (Samarawickrama) – in the squad. They have a really good opportunity to play against India and perform. I am sure they will put their hand up and do their best.”
After losing to India at home, Sri Lanka surprised everyone by whitewashing Pakistan in the two-Test series in the United Arab Emirates, before going down 0-5 in ODIs and 0-3 in T20Is. India, on the other hand, have been on a winning streak in their last eight Test series.
“We all know India are the No. 1 team at the moment,” Chandimal conceded. “But looking at our team, we did really well against Pakistan. I am sure the guys are looking forward to this challenge.”
The spin duo of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja played a major role in India’s 3-0 sweep in Sri Lanka in July-August. Ashwin picked up 17 wickets in three games, while Jadeja grabbed 13 in two. Chandimal insisted that his team had formulated a plan to counter the Indian spinners, but refused to divulge details.
“At the moment, they (Ashwin and Jadeja) are No. 1 and No. 2 in the world,” Chandimal said. “They have bowled really well in the last couple of years. As a team, we have something up our sleeves. When we face them, we need to execute that in order to compete with the Indian team. I don’t want to tell our plans in front of you guys. You can see in one week’s time what plans we have against them.”