New skipper Chandimal hopeful of turnaround in Colombo

Returning from a bout with pneumonia, Chandimal is optimistic of a Lankan fightback in the second Test, and reckons converting starts may hold the key.

Chandimal: 'We just want to forget about the mistakes we did in the first game.'   -  AFP

Dinesh Chandimal had it rough over the last week. A bout of pneumonia laid him low and while he recuperated, he watched Sri Lanka lose to India in the first Test at Galle. Having recovered, he is back to his twin saddles- home-team captain and middle-order batsman.

An optimistic Chandimal said that his men will strive to erase their mistakes of the previous match and try and alter their fortunes in the second Test. “We just want to forget about the mistakes we did in the first game. We want to take the positives and go forward. India is number one and has played some good cricket. It is a challenge for us. My boys are in a good position and we are looking forward to doing well in this game and turning it around,” the Sri Lanka skipper told the media here on Wednesday.

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Chandimal was grateful to the International Cricket Council (ICC) for permitting him to use an inhaler that aided his recovery. There are restrictions on the medicines that cricketers can use due to doping-violation issues but the ICC made an exception as Chandimal’s need was genuine. “I am much better. Thanks to the ICC which gave permission for me to use the inhaler, and that will help me breathe properly,” he said and added that Rangana Herath was fit.

The host captain after saying that the pitch ‘looks like a dry surface, so after the second day it might turn’, hinted that he might bring in an extra spinner into the picture. “Most probably Malinda (Pushpakumara) will come into the side,” he said and emphasised that the left-arm spinner, will only benefit by playing with veteran Herath.

Chandimal also revealed that Dhananjaya de Silva is likely to strengthen the batting. The captain stressed that his men need to convert the fifties into substantial knocks.