Rain threatens to play spoil sport at Galle | Daily News

Rain threatens to play spoil sport at Galle

The Galle Cricket Stadium is waterlogged
The Galle Cricket Stadium is waterlogged

Sri Lanka’s hopes of producing an improved performance in the first Test against England are likely to be hampered by inclement weather with heavy rain predicted within the next five days in Galle.

As a result, the Galle Cricket Stadium has been waterlogged.

Heavy rain during the last few days, have prevented the visitors from having practice sessions while the home team cancelled their final preparations yesterday due to the soggy ground condition.

After their battering in South Africa where they lost the series 0-2, the Sri Lankan camp were determined to put up an improved performance in their first outing on a pitch which is conducive for spinners.

The Lankan camp is likely to infuse a 6-3-2 composition where they are to seek the services of six specialised batsmen, three spinners and two seam bowlers.

However, the prevailing weather conditions might force them to rethink the other way around, using three seamers and two spinners, and a final decision will be taken after the covers are taken off and the wicket is inspected this morning.

“We never underestimate their bowlers. We know how the conditions are and have a few plans against them,” Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne told reporters yesterday.

“We play our normal, fearless game. We have learnt a lot from the previous series and we will not do that mistake again,” he added.

The Sri Lankan camp is greatly relieved with the return of their two senior players, former Captains, Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal, who are both likely to make a comeback, after being sidelined due to injury. Both have cleared their fitness tests and have been shaping up well at practices after the Proteas tour.

Meanwhile, Karunaratne will join Kusal Janith Perera at the top of the batting for the home team.

Chandimal who was in good nick in South Africa is likely to swap places in the batting order with Kusal Mendis who had a dismal tour.

Mendis is a much better prospect in the top order and is likely to occupy the number four slot while Mathews is to follow him at number five.

All-rounder, Dasun Shanaka and wicket-keeper batsman, Niroshan Dickwella will occupy the number six and seven positions respectively.

The new find of the team, Wanindu Hasaranga is likely to occupy the eighth slot followed by the tail-enders.

The Lankans are likely to use a specialised paceman in the event the wicket favours the spin bowlers while entrusting Shanaka to be the new ball partner.

According to reliable sources, Asitha Fernando who had a good South Africa tour has the edge over the others to open the bowling in the event the Lankans opt to go in with two pacemen.

The spin department is likely to be spearheaded by Dilruwan Perera, the experienced campaigner in the squad who is also capable of using the willow to score valuable runs.

Left-arm spinner Lasith Embuldeniya is to man the other side of the wicket, with Hasaranga to remain as the third spinner.

The England camp is likely to include a few new faces after some of their regular players kept away from this tour.

“I do think with the weather around that we have had – we have had quite a lot of rain and there is a lot of moisture around – so seam might play a bigger part,” England Skipper Joe Root revealed yesterday.

“There is a lot more spin, a lot more double spin and that’s part and parcel of playing in this part of the world.”

“Last time we felt like whoever adapted quickest and grabbed those big moments in the game won. And hopefully we can repeat that this time around”.