We Have Something Up Our Sleeve
Despite England winning the last five Test matches, Dinesh Chandimal said that Sri Lanka has something up their sleeve walking into the second and final Test of the series which commences today in Galle.
The Sri Lankan team was rocked by several scandals this week with several reports on ‘fitness fixing’, bribing support staff to pass fitness tests, and alleged misbehavior between players and support staff. This is on top of Sri Lanka’s third successive Test loss in the last two months, poor performance by some of the most talked about cricketers, and an array of injuries, including skipper Dimuth Karunarathne who has been ruled out from the series.
Stand-in Captain Dinesh Chandimal said the key mistake they made during the first Test was lack of adjustment from playing in South Africa to spin friendly Galle, and the poor performance on the first day cost the game despite doing well during the next three days.
Chandimal admitted that Sri Lanka has many problems, including lack of experience in the bowling department, as Lasith Embuldeniya (8 Tests), Wannind Hasaranga de Silva (3 Tests) and Asitha Fernando (1Test) haven’t even played in 10 Test matches yet.Chandi-mal said Sri Lanka will be going in with four genuine bowlers for this Test, along with a spin bowling all-rounder in the No.7 position. According to Chandimal, Ramesh Mendis, who is good off spinner and has plenty of first class runs behind him (including a 300) will get his debutTest cap to play in that position ahead of pace bowling all-rounder Dasun Shanaka.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka released five players from the bio bubble earlier this week, including Kusal Mendis who batted at number three. Chandimal said Oshada Fernando, who has now recovered, will play at number three in the second Test, with opener Kusal Perera to continue at the top.
Sri Lanka’s bowling attack too has other options to choose from, with Suranga Lakmal regaining fitness and the availability of Dushmantha Chameera who could provide some extra pace. They also have the option of going in with Chinaman Lakshan Sandakan instead of under fire Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva, who did not look comfortable at all playing Test cricket, as his forte seems to be white ball cricket.
Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
Sri Lanka Squad:
Kusal Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal (Captain), Niroshan Dickwella, Ramesh Mendis, Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva, Lasith Embuldeniya, Dilruwan Perera ,Suranga Lakmal, Asitha Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera, Lakshan Sandakan, Roshen Silva , Dasun Shanaka