Sri Lanka focussed on tackling spin ahead of first ODI

Updated: Dec 09, 2017, 12:16 IST | Harit N Joshi

As the Sri Lankan team got down to business here yesterday in yet another bid to win their first ODI series against India in two decades (their last win came in 1997), the focus was clearly on tackling the Indian spinners and pacer Jasprit Bumrah

As the Sri Lankan team got down to business here yesterday in yet another bid to win their first ODI series against India in two decades (their last win came in 1997), the focus was clearly on tackling the Indian spinners and pacer Jasprit Bumrah. The first of the three-match ODI series is set to kick off at the scenic Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association ground tomorrow.

Sri Lankan players during practice session. Pic/ PTI
Sri Lankan players during practice session. Pic/ PTI

Apart from deploying their lone specialist spinner Akila Dananjaya and left-arm spinning all-rounders Chaturanga de Silva and Sachith Pathirana, Lankan interim coach Nic Pothas asked for a variety of local spinners (left-arm, off-spin and leg spin) from the HPCA.

The Sri Lankan players faced the spinners followed by the pacers as the practice session stretched to four hours.
Sri Lanka’s concern to tackle Indian spin bowling is valid especially after the way the Indian spin trio of Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav performed in the last three ODI series.

While the tweakers claimed 41 wickets in the last three ODI series versus Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand, the five–man pace attack claimed 58 wickets. Given the conditions are suitable for pace bowling here, Sri Lankans focused on playing short stuff effectively.

At times, the Lankan support staff were seen bowling from nearly the halfway mark for their batsmen to get accustomed to the pace and bounce. Pothas was, however, not happy with the moisture on the practice wickets and was seen complaining to the local officials.

From the five strips, only three were ready for practice.

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