Team Sri Lanka have had troubled times in the recent few months. Barring their odd win against India in the Champions Trophy this year, they did not have a major win to boast about up until the last month. They were tour washed by the visiting Indian team as the Virat Kohli-led side had won the Test, ODI, and the T20I series when the two sides met a couple of months ago.
The islanders were down on confidence and needed to pull up their socks big time. They did manage to do so. Sri Lanka beat Pakistan 2-0 in the Test series in the UAE to stun the cricket world. Many expected that the story of the resurgence and revival has begun. But whitewash defeats in the limited overs fixtures that followed against the same opposition puts Sri Lanka back on a shaky ground.
Now, they are up against the Indian team again. They will be playing the first Test at the Eden Gardens, commencing on November 16. Needless to say, the demons of their previous defeat will be at the back of their mind. Moreover, the fact that the team is yet to win a Test match on the Indian soil only puts things on a difficult terrain for them. A young and inexperienced side is on display with a handful of cricketers carrying experience badges.
Before the actual action begins, they are currently gearing up for their match against the Board President XI. The venue remains the same – Eden Gardens. The two-day warm up is expected to help the visitors figure out a proper combination before heading in to the Test series.
Commenting on the BPXI team, the side will be lead by young cricket Sanju Samson. Promising spinner Jalaj Saxena has also been named in the side and will hope to impress the selectors. Meanwhile, a last moment injury to Naman Ojha has seen young Punjab batsman Anmolpreet Singh being named as the replacement. He has already scored 2 centuries this season in domestic cricket with a top score of 267.
Well, the young BPXI team will see this as an opportunity to impress the selectors and push their way for further selections in the top tier games. While an outcome is unlikely to be seen from the game, some spectacular performances could pretty well be on the cards.
Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (c), Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Lahiru Thirimanne (vice- captain), Niroshan Dickwella (wicketkeeper), Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Gamage, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando, Dasun Shanaka and Roshen Silva.
Board President’s XI: Sanju Samson (c), Abhishek Gupta, Akash Bhandari, Avesh Khan, Jalaj Saxena, Jiwanjot Singh, Ravi Kiran, Rohan Prem, B Sandeep, Tanmay Agarwal, Sandeep Warrier, and Anmolpreet Singh.
0 – Sri Lanka are yet to win a Test match on Indian soil. They have played 16 Tests in India, and lost 10 of them.
1 – Number of players in Sri Lankan squad who featured in the last Test series that Sri Lanka played against India in India – Angelo Mathews.