A chance for fringe players to make an impact

Apart from enabling the Sri Lankan team to get used to the conditions, the two-day warm-up match between the visiting side and the Board President's XI will give several Indian players a chance to get noticed.

Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal arrives for a training session on the eve of a practice match against Board President's XI at the Jadavpur University campus in Kolkata.   -  PTI

For a fringe player, who is waiting in the wings to secure a place for himself in the Indian team, an exposure against a touring Test side provides a solid platform to showcase his worth.

Apart from enabling the Sri Lankan team to get used to the conditions, the two-day warm-up match between the visiting side and the Board President's XI, starting at the Jadavpur University ground here on Saturday, will give several Indian players a chance to make an impact.

Even though the match was reduced from three days to two and the Board team had only 12 members at its disposal, the fixture did not lose its significance for some.

“Players of those state teams which are not playing Ranji Trophy in this round have been picked for this squad. Each of us has done hard work in the past years. This is a great opportunity and a good stage to perform,” said Board President's XI captain Sanju Samson, who would lead the side in place of an injured Naman Ojha.

Personally it would be a memorable moment for Sanju, who would lead the Board side on the day he would turn 23 years. “I have led Kerala for a season and I am up for the challenge.”

Asked how the players would gel in such a short time as the Board team managed to have just one practice session (under the guidance of coach Narendra Hirwani) before the match, Sanju said, “We know each other well. We have been playing domestic cricket for many years.”

On the prospect of facing a world class spinner, Rangana Herath, Sanju said, "He (Herath) is a very experienced cricketer. It is a practice match for him but for us it is a great opportunity to face him. He is one of the legends and to play against him will be a great experience."

Sri Lanka, which trained without Roshen Silva, Dhananjay de Silva and Dilruwan Perera on the eve of the match, would like to use this opportunity to get acclimatised to the conditions and fine-tune its skills in competitive mode ahead of the first Test in the Eden Gardens starting on November 16.

The scenic venue on the Jadavpur University campus should witness a well-contested tour opener.

The teams (from):

Board President's XI: Sanju Samson (captain, w-k), Abhishek Gupta, Akash Bhandari,Avesh Khan, Jalaj Saxena, Jiwanjot Singh, Ravi Kiran, Rohan Prem, B. Sandeep, Tanmay Agarwal, Sandeep Warrier and Anmolpreet Singh.

Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Lahiru Thirimanne (vice-captain), Niroshan Dickwella (w-k), Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Gamage, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando, Dasun Shanaka and Roshen Silva.