Test skipper Dinesh Chandimal says he is confident of avoiding a series whitewash against India with assistance from a lively pitch and a young fast bowling attack.
The hosts continue their pursuit amidst the backdrop of heavy defeats in the last two tests in Galle and Colombo.
Speaking on the eve of the third and final Test at Pallekele Chandimal said “The series is not yet over. As a captain, I don’t like to lose. May be it’s the world’s number one team or number eighth team, I want to win. We’re giving our full effort to that but we cannot control the ultimate result. The pressure is always there. We are 0-2 down now but still we are a really good team. As a team we are hoping to win this game. If we can do that, definitely we can get more confidence and go forward. So we are looking forward to that.”
However Chandimal said injuries to key players have made life difficult for him throughout the series.
Players like Asela Gunaratne, veteran spinner Rangana Herath and Nuwan Pradeep suffered injuries during the first two Tests.
Sri Lanka has brought in pacers Dushmantha Chameera and Lahiru Gamage in place of injured Rangana Herath and Nuwan Pradeep.
The hosts are also expecting a lively wicket, even though a lot of grass is shaved off the wicket. The third and final test begins at 9.30 tomorrow morning in Pallekale.
Meanwhile Virat Kohli asked his players to just focus on the job at hand, rather than be over-excited at the prospect of completing a historic whitewash against the hosts.
The Indian skipper termed the thought of a clean sweep a distraction.
He said “For us, it’s all about playing another Test match. We have already won the series, It doesn’t mean we cannot afford to be complacent, you can’t look at these things and go to a game, we are not thinking about these things.”
Having already wrapped the series after winning the two Tests, and looking at the conditions, which are likely to help the pacers, it was expected that India may make a few changes to the side.
But, Kohli declared except for the forced change of Kuldeep Yadav, India is not looking at taking any chances in the match.