Need 300-plus totals to beat Australia: Dinesh Chandimal
Dinesh Chandimal (AFP Image)

Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal has stressed on the importance of putting up 300-plus runs on the board in the first innings of a Test if they are to pull off a repeat of India’s success when they take on Australia in a two-Test series starting January 24.

India registered a historic 2-1 series win Down Under, where the team registered 300-plus totals thrice, twice in the first innings, and Chandimal focussed on Sri Lanka’s need to do the same if they are to be the second Asian team to beat Australia on their home soil.

“That’s the one area we’ll have to improve,” Chandimal said ahead of the three-day pink-ball match against a Cricket Australia XI in Hobart. “We have done well in New Zealand in both Tests, especially in the second innings. We just want to start well whether bowling or batting. We learnt from that last series and guys have some game plans. If they can take it out to the middle it will give us a good start.

“Our fast bowlers are in good shape and if we can get more than 300 that will be great from the batting unit. The India bowling unit was really good, especially between overs 40-80. That’s why they won the series. As a team we just want to do that as well.”

While India enjoyed a successful series Down Under, Sri Lanka lost 0-1 to New Zealand. Angelo Mathews was their leading run-getter with 258 runs, However, due to a hamstring injury, the former captain has been ruled out of the series, which means that in his absence, the likes of Kusal Mendis, Dimuth Karunaratne and Chandimal himself will have to step up.

“We all know how good Angelo is and we will certainly miss him. In the last series he did really well and he has a lot of experience,” Chandimal said. “This is a really good opportunity for the youngsters to show a performance. If you perform against Australia in Australia that will give you more confidence going forward. We have something up our sleeve and if we can execute that we are on the right track.

“We know how good the Australia team is. We all have ups and downs as teams and individuals, but still Australia are a really good side with really talented players. It’s never easy for subcontinent teams to come here and win a series.”