Rain disrupts India's training ahead of Ist Test against Sri Lanka

Suranga Lakmal

Suranga Lakmal

The overdose of India playing the same opposition in Sri Lanka twice in three months, which might drive the cricket fans away, needs to be analysed, skipper Virat Kohli said on Wednesday. But, unfortunately, with his injury he can't bowl in Test cricket. The preparations ahead of the game at the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) were humdrum too with the relentless rain playing spoilsport. Walking face first into India's proud home record, the Sri Lankans have more to do than just avenge the defeats of their July-August home leg: the island nation has failed to win a single Test in India in the last 17 years.

Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Dimuth Karunaratne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Rangana Herath, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Suranga Lakmal, Dilruwan Perera, Lahiru Gamage, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando, Dasun Shanaka, Niroshan Dickwella (WK), Roshen Silva. "We think if we send him top of the order we can get the maximum out of him". It definitely has to be taken into consideration, because you don't want the fans to go away, not watching the game. All cricketers play 40 games in a year.

The pitch and the overhead conditions at Eden Gardens are likely to favour playing three seamers, and Sri Lanka could approach this in two ways. You can't get attached to it.

The Eden Gardens has a green top on offer and Chandimal hoped their batsmen and bowlers would make best use of it. Out of the Pakistan series with a calf injury, the former skipper looked good for his 54 retired in the warm-up game against the Board President's XI. "That point will be discussed in future definitely", Kohli dropped enough hints as to what he felt on the issue during the pre-match conference. Now we have gone through a good phase where lot of cricket has been played at home. As a team we have a good gameplan, we have something up our sleeves. So from the outside it looks like "why are people asking for rest, everyone has played same number of games". For us, as I said, it is about playing for the country.

Asked about aiming for becoming the top-ranked team across formats, Kohli said although the target is realistic, it is not easy to aim for such things as teams these days play different formats throughout the year. The two sides will also play three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches.

While Sri Lanka are not the best global opponent at the moment but Kohli made it clear that there is no dearth of respect for the rivals.

"We have to maintain the balance and we have done really well so far in maintaining that balance", Kohli said.

"Three openers is a situation that has always been a thing".

India (first two Tests): Virat Kohli (captain), KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammad Shami.

"The balance has swung every now and then, between two guys doing well and one of them missing out. It's very hard to pick two out of three when all three are so good and have done so well".

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