Success in India depends on how we execute our plans, says Sri Lanka bowling coach

By: PTI
Sri Lanka's Dilruwan Perera in action against Board President XI during a warm-up match at Jadavpur University Stadium

Kolkata, November 12: Sri Lanka bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayake on Sunday (November 12) revealed that his team has prepared elaborate strategies for the upcoming three-Test series against India, but added that success would depend on executing those plans on the pitch.

"We have done all that we could have to counter attack (India). We have an idea what we can expect in the Test series. I hope our strategies work," Ratnayake told reporters after Sri Lanka drew the two-day tour game against the Board President's XI here. "We can only plan, but it's about executing them on the field. It's a huge challenge. It's not only skipper Virat Kohli, but we have come up with specific plans for each Indian player. We always go in with plans anyway, but I hope we can execute the plans at the proper time," he added.

Sri Lanka suffered a 0-9 humiliation at home across the three formats earlier this year. The Islanders will play their first Test in India since 2009-10 when they take the field on November 16 at the Eden Gardens here. They have a lopsided record in the country as they are yet to win in the last 16 appearances, having lost 10 and drawn six since 1982.

"Even though the immediate past has not been good, we are looking for a new leaf to start with," Ratnayake said.

Terming it a "friendly rivalry" with India, the former pacer said: "It's unfortunate we have not won a Test here. It's still a healthy rivalry. We have gained a lot from India, we are thankful for that. It would be interesting to win a Test here. We are taking it as a challenge."

The 53-year-old said the rainy season in Sri Lanka had hampered their preparation. "We are very privileged to have a match like this. We have new players, but they have been in the circuit for a while. India is new for them as we are touring for a Test series after eight years," he said.

Angelo Mathews will be back in action after recovering from a calf injury, which forced him out of the Pakistan tour last month, and Ratnayake said he would be used as a batsman. "Angelo comes in as a batsman. We have Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva and Roshan Silva to fill in the all-rounder's role. He has not bowled in a Test for a while. I don't think he will bowl. We take him as a white ball bowler to be used in the ODIs.

Ratnayake said his bowlers have worked on the reverse swing with the SG ball. "Reverse swing is one of the things which we have worked on. It's got the feel of the Duke ball, it's different and we are getting used to that," he said.

Story first published: Sunday, November 12, 2017, 19:03 [IST]
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