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India vs Sri Lanka 2017: Dinesh Chandimal on Road to Return for Second Test

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: July 31, 2017, 12:16 PM IST
India vs Sri Lanka 2017: Dinesh Chandimal on Road to Return for Second Test

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New Delhi: In a boost to the Sri Lanka camp ahead of the second Test, starting on Thursday, Sri Lanka’s cricket manager and selector Asanka Gurusinha has revealed that skipper Dinesh Chandimal should be back in the squad for the second Test, having missed the first game.

“Dinesh should be fit, he actually played this (Sunday) morning and he has batted the last couple of days," Gurusinha told ESPNCricinfo.

As for Herath, Gurusinha didn’t sound too optimistic and said that a call will be taken on the eve of the game. "We have to see how he is going to come up in the next couple of days because his finger is pretty sore. We will give him till the last minute to make sure that he is fit. The day before the Test we will see whether he can drift the ball, it will come down to that. If he can without pain he will play, otherwise we will have to look at different options. The finger is not swollen but it's sore and painful," he explained.

Danushka Gunathilaka who had scores of 16 and 2 in the first Test is most likely to miss out once Chandimal returns as Kusal Mendis is expected to go back to his original batting position at the No. 3 slot. "It's for just one game, we pushed Kusal to four. Danushka was in form and you can't bat him in the middle order," Gurusinha said. "We couldn't get him to open either because the openers were already there, that's why we got Kusal to four for this Test. When Chandimal comes back, he will go back to No. 3 straight away. He is our No. 3 and we are grooming him for that position definitely."

With Asela Gunaratne out with a broken thumb, Sri Lanka have to fill another slot and Gurusinha said: "We have Dhananjaya (de Silva) in the squad and we have Danushka as well. We haven't looked at whether this is the squad we are going to have for the second Test. We will have a chat later today and see whether we will need someone from outside or what combination we are going to play. It comes down to whether we are going to play six or seven batsmen, we will have to decide on that after looking at the wicket."

With the Lankans failing to put up a fight, Gurusinha has stood by his players and said that it was difficult to play for the draw in the current circumstance. "These days in Test cricket, the game has changed a lot because of T20. They are playing it at a very fast rate getting 300-350 in a day is nothing new in Test cricket. Sometimes if you try to bat long, you can go into a negative frame of mind. You need to play positively but positively is not hitting every ball, it is playing according to your plans. Our execution of plans was the main problem.

"Nobody scored a hundred from our side in the last two Tests, even against Zimbabwe. That's what we need. We need one of the top four batsmen to get 150 or 160 and a couple of others to get 70s and 80s. As soon as that happens it will give us a 400-plus total."
First Published: July 31, 2017, 12:15 PM IST

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