Weather may play spoilsport


Unseasonal rain is threatening to play spoilsport as the match is the lone practice outing for the visitors before the first Test begins in Ahmedabad on November 16.

The practice match provides Kumar Sangakkara an opportunity to test his relatively inexperience side, which boasts only five players in the captain himself, Muttiah Muralitharan, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Thilan Samaraweera who have played in India before.

Sri Lanka’s batting order looks settled in the presence of Jayawardene, Sangakkara, Samarweera and Dilshan. It will be further bolstered by the presence of middle-order batsman Thilina Kandamby, likely to make his debut in Ahmedabad, and all-rounder Angelo Mathhews.

It is, however, his bowling line up which Sangakkara would like to finalise. The visitors will be hoping to figure out their spin department which has three quality tweakers in Muralitharan, mystery man Ajantha Mendis and Ragana Herath.

While Muralitharan is certain, it will be a toss up between the Mendis, who demolished the famed Indian batting line up in Sri Lanka, and Herath, who outperformed both Murali and Mendis in the series against Pakistan and New Zealand.

India discard Rohit Sharma-led Board President’s XI, on the other hand, has little to play for as the team for the first two Tests has already been announced.

However, the factor which will be in the fringe players’ mind during the match, is a good performance here will help their cause for a claim in the ODI team against the Lankans.

While skipper Sharma, Robin Uthappa, Abhinav Mukund, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary, Abhishek Nayar and Wriddhiman Saha will hold the key with the bat, Ojha, Piyush Chawla, Pradeep Sangwan, and Ashok Dinda will take care of the bowling department.

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