In­dia, Lanka brace for rain Lit­tle Chance Of Play On Day 1 As Hosts Look To Win An­other Se­ries

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The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES SPORT - Archi­man.Bhaduri@ times­group.com THE TIMES OF IN­DIA, MUM­BAI

Kolkata: Rain seems to be fol­low­ing the Sri Lankans. After in­clement weather ham­pered their prepa­ra­tion back home, ahead of their de­par­ture for Kolkata, the vis­i­tors were greeted by unseasonal show­ers a day be­fore they set out on the quest to win their maiden Test match in In­dia.

It’s been rain­ing con­tin­u­ously since late Tues­day night, forc­ing teams to can­cel their prac­tice ses­sions on the eve of the first Test here at Eden Gar­dens. The Met of­fice has fore­cast some more show­ers on Thurs­day, rais­ing doubts of play on Day 1. When­ever the ac­tion be­gins in this lat­est Indo-Lanka three-match se­ries, vic­tory for the is­lan­ders looks a dis­tant dream. of the Lankan play­ers as the is­lan­ders last toured In­dia for a Test se­ries in 2009, when Kohli had not even made his Test de­but. Only two play­ers — An­gelo Mathews and Ran­gana Herath — from the cur­rent squad have ex­pe­ri­ence of play­ing Test cricket in In­dia and the duo is ex­pected to de­liver as well as guide the young­sters.

The Lankans will also de­pend heav­ily on Dimuth Karunaratne and skip­per Di­nesh Chandi­mal, both of whom got cen­turies against Pak­istan in the UAE, to put up big to­tals. Mathews will look to give so­lid­ity to the mid­dle or­der by com­ing in at No. 4, as in­di­cated by Chandi­mal. The Lankans are keen on go­ing in with five bowlers though Chandi­mal didn’t re­veal the com­bi­na­tion.

But with a trun­cated match on the cards, it re­mains to be seen whether the se­ries opener pro­duces a re­sult.

Chandi­mal, though, is op­ti­mistic that his team will do bet­ter this time, after record­ing a Test se­ries vic­tory against Pak­istan in the UAE.

“We just need to carry for­ward the pos­i­tives of the last se­ries. We are more con­fi­dent after win­ning against Pak­istan,” he stated. Chandi­mal said the Lankans have worked hard on their field­ing after the dis­as­trous home se­ries against In­dia, when they lost all nine matches across three for­mats.

“The one area we are look­ing at is field­ing. We need to keep our en­ergy through­out the five days,” he stated.

PTI

READY FOR BAT­TLE: Vi­rat Kohli on the eve of the first Test at Eden Gar­dens Ex­pect a green sur­face at Eden Gar­dens. In­dia are likely to play an ex­tra bats­man Good chance of rain af­fect­ing the Test match for the first three days

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