Kotla pitch similar to Nagpur wicket: Chandimal

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Kotla pitch similar to Nagpur wicket: Chandimal

New Delhi, Dec 1 (IANS) Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal on Friday expressed doubts over the Ferozeshah Kotla pitch aiding the faster bowlers at a time when India wanted to use the ongoing three-match Test rubber against the islanders to prepare for the challenging South Africa tour, later this month.

Interacting with reporters on the eve of the third and final Test, Chandimal said the Kotla wicket looked more or less like the Nagpur wicket, where the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja helped India to an innings and 239 run win in the second Test.

“If you look at the Kotla wicket, I am not sure India are preparing for South Africa because it looks like a Nagpur pitch. The Kolkata pitch was similar to South African conditions but these two pitches aren’t like that.

“I was surprised when I heard they are preparing for their South African series on these kinds of wickets.,” Chandimal said.

Asked whether it was disrespectful as the home side was more concerned about their next assignment against the Proteas rather than the ongoing series, the wicketkeeper-batsman said: “That’s up to them (India) to think of their next series. We can’t control that.”

“But we never underestimate any team. We are focussed on this series and thinking about improving in each and every game.

On veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath missing out due to a back injury, Chandimal said: “Rangana’s absence is a big loss, he is a great asset for us.

“But we got youngsters like Lakshan Sandakan and Jeffrey Vandersay, and we probably are going in with a few changes which isn’t clear till now,” he said.

Chandimal conceded that it was difficult for a young side to regroup, especially after a crushing defeat which the stumper felt was due to their failure to put up a strong first innings total.

“It was surely a bad loss in the second game, our batting unit failed to deliver when the situation demanded.

“It is very important to score atleast 350 in the first innings and for that one of the top five batsmen need to get a big score,” he said.

India are currently 1-0 up in the three-match rubber and would aim to wrap up the third Test in style before engaging in a brief limited overs series with the islanders.

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