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Sri Lankan cricketers arrive in India as former skipper to play a specialised role

Sri Lankan cricketers arrive in India as former skipper to play a specialised role

Dinesh Chandimal-led Sri Lankan squad arrived for their six-week tour of India, which starts here with the first of the three-Test series, beginning on November 16.

Former skipper Angelo Mathews, who marks his return to the SL team, will have a different role to play in India as he is set to bat higher up the order at the number four position as a specialist batsman.

Mathews (30) used to bat at number five and bowls occasionally during Tests for Sri Lanka after the retirement of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, whereas earlier he batted further down the order at number six position.

Out of his 122 innings' in Tests, Mathews had only batted thrice at number three: two against Pakistan and one against India, while he had never batted in that position overseas.

Mathews is Sri Lanka's top batsman and the idea is clear that Mathews' role will be to bat longer and hold the inning together and the rest of the batting line up to bat around him. Sri Lanka went through disastrous batting collapses during the recent matches.

Mathews missed Sri Lanka's tour of UAE due to an injury and has gone through lots of injuries of late, missing out on the ODI series against South Africa, T20 series against Australia and home series against Zimbabwe, before returning in the home series against India and then missing out the tour against Pakistan.

Since August 2016 Mathews has missed 37 International matches due to injuries, which includes six Tests, 20 ODIs and 11T20s.

Sri Lanka is set to experiment with a new opening pair, as Dimuth Karunarathne will partner Sadeera Samarawickrama at the top with Dhananjaya de Silva at number three. Angelo Mathews will follow with skipper Dinesh Chandimal bating at number five.

Niroshan Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka and Dilruwan Perera at six, seven and eight will likely be the Islander's batting line up for the first Test.

Sri Lanka will play the first Test against India at Eden Gardens in Kolkata which starts on 16 November, followed by the second Test which starts on 24 November at Nagpur. The third and final Test will be in Delhi from 2 December.
Sri Lanka faced a 9-0 whitewash against India in the home series earlier this year, losing Three Tests, Five ODIS and one off T20.

Posted on 2017-11-09 22:30:43
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QUESTION?

Should Dilshan have continued until Cricket World Cup 2019?

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THE DAY'S QUOTE

“That was pathetic. No excuse at all. The whole team is responsible. Whoever the captain is, we have to back him and try and support him. The captain has to do so many other stuff. All the 11 guys must back him and support him.” “We have addressed the issue of finishing off the overs on time in the past as well, but it cropped up again. It’s so unfortunate to see Upul going out as he is a crucial player in our set up. He batted well against South Africa and it’s so unfortunate. This can’t happen again,” - Angelo Mathews

FEEDBACK/COMMENTS

Cricket is a game of fine margins and Mathews is set to be a modern great. Hang in their Angie, this team can achieve something on this tour. Thirimane and the youngsters form was a real positive. Prasad was missed. Chameera should be persisted with. If Bairstow was our early outcome could have been very different.

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