Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews reckons that it will take a long time to fill in the void created by the retirement of legendary Kumar Sangakkara.
"After Sangakkara's retirement, the rest of us that are left have not played too many Tests. It will take a long time to fill the gap that he has left. But I think the team we have now can do that," Mathews told reporters ahead of the third and final cricket Test against India, starting tomorrow.
Asked about Sangakkara's possible replacement for tomorrow's match, Mathews named left-hander Upul Tharanga.
"It has to be Tharanga definitely. In the last match, he hit a couple of 45s (46 and 48 vs Pakistan). He went out only because Sangakkara came in. We're trying to find a good batting order. We don’t have a set batting order yet," the skipper said.
Off-spinner Tharindu Kaushal is a doubtful starter after sustaining a hand injury in the second Test but a good news for the home team is that pacer Nuwan Pradeep is fit again after missing the second Test.
Another likely change could be Kusal Janith Perera coming in place of Jehan Mubarak. Perera could keep wickets, thus paving the way for Dinesh Chandimal to bat up the order.
Asked if it is the perfect time to play Perera, Mathews did not give a direct answer but dropped enough hints that the talented youngster might get a look in.
"You can't really find a perfect time to bring a player into the team. Whenever he gets the opportunity, I'm pretty sure that he will come good. He is also a young exciting player. We are not afraid to take chances with that kind of player. Let us see if he plays."