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Kolkata ODI: Pride at stake for Sri Lanka today

With the five-match series already lost, Sri Lanka aim for some momentum in the remaining two ODIs against India before the upcoming England series

Kolkata: Hosts India might have outplayed them in the first three ODIs but Sri Lankan team management is keen to include experienced spinner Ajantha Mendis in the playing XI for the fourth ODI scheduled tomorrow.

Ajantha Mendis
Ajantha Mendis 

Mendis, incidentally was a part of Kolkata Knight Riders during the first Indian Premier League and had experience of playing at the Eden Gardens.

"I had a good opportunity while playing for KKR at this ground. The pitch offered turn and we would also get a bit of bounce.

I always had a bit of help from this track. We will try to do our best," Mendis said after their practice session
yesterday.

Making a difference
Talking about the match pitch, Mendis said: "It's not bad. The wicket has a bit of help for the spinners. Hope we can do something."

Sri Lanka's senior most cricketer Mahela Jayawardene (centre) during a practice session at Eden Gardens, Kolkata yesterday. Pic/PTI
Sri Lanka's senior most cricketer Mahela Jayawardene (centre) during a practice session at Eden Gardens, Kolkata yesterday. Pic/PTI 

Once known as 'mystery spinner' before he went off the boil, Mendis is hopeful that he would make some difference to the Lankan bowling attack which is thin on experience as far as taking on the mighty Indian batting line-up is concerned.

"If I get an opportunity, I will bowl in the line and length with a bit of variation because India possess a very good batting line-up. We will try to put the pressure with our spin attack," he added.

"It's about salvaging some pride and take the momentum into the upcoming England series and subsequently the World Cup in Australia-New Zealand next year.

"I came for the last two games. We will at least try to win these two matches because we have a lot of matches on the way. We will try to do our best.

"Everyone will try to win this game with the World Cup and the England series is next to come. Hopefully, everyone does well and get in shape ahead of the two big events."

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