Rediff – IMAGE: Sri Lankan cricketers play football during a practice session at Salt Lake in Kolkata.
- Photograph: PTIChasing an elusive dream of winning their first cricket Test in India, Sri Lanka will begin their gruelling tour with a two-day tour fixture against a depleted Board President’s XI, in Kolkata, on Saturday.
- Sri Lanka who will play their first Test in India since 2009-10 have a forgettable record in the country as they are yet to win from 16 appearances and have suffered 10 defeats in their head-to-head record spanning 1982-2017.
- It’s an improbable task for skipper Dinesh Chandimal who will play his maiden Test in India and would bank upon the experience of Angelo Mathews and Rangana Herath the only two members who were part of their side which suffered 0-2 defeat seven years back.
- Giving importance to the Ranji Trophy, the Board has opted for a third-string outfit primarily comprising of players from — Hyderabad, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab who are not featuring in the ongoing fifth round of the domestic tournament.
- Fresh from his 93 and 196 against Pakistan, left-handed opener Dimuth Karunaratne will look to continue from where he left in Abu Dhabi as they will also bank heavily on skipper Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella in batting department.