Ratnayake: 'India-Sri Lanka have a friendly rivalry'

Fifty-three-year-old Ratnayake, who is accompanying the Sri Lanka team for the upcoming series against India as the bowling coach, said Sri Lanka is prepared to record its first ever Test win on the Indian soil.

Sri Lankan players celebrate a wicket during their practice match against Board President's XI.

Distinguished as a stylish fast bowler in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Rumesh Ratnayake smiles at the term 'India-Sri Lanka rivalry'. He fine-tunes it to call it 'friendly rivalry.'

Fifty-three-year-old Ratnayake, who is accompanying the Sri Lanka team for the upcoming series against India as the bowling coach, spoke about his side's serious preparations and ambition to record the first ever Test win on the Indian soil.

Excerpts:

Preparation for reverse swing:
We have done all that we could to do counter-attack, whatever we would expect in the Test series, and reverse swing is one of the things which we worked on.

Kuldeep Yadav and Sandakan:
They are quite similar...It depends whether we will play him (Kuldeep). They are very similar being chinaman bowlers. Also different.

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Sandakan's control:
It's an area which we have certainly talked about. He needs to improve a little bit. It's a confidence thing.

Home series loss:
We are taking it as a challenge and see what we can improve. We have discussed areas of batting and bowling. We know their players. I hope our strategies will work. We can only plan but it's about executing them on the field.

Adjustments by new players:
The adjustments have not been all that great as it rained in Sri Lanka. We are privileged to have a (warm-up) match. The new players have been in the circuit for a while. India is new for them as we are touring for a Test series after eight years. It's a big challenge. We have not won a Test in India. That's one thing we are looking for.

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Consulting India think-tank on transition phase:
Certainly that's an option. The management consists of Ravi Shastri, (Bharat) Arun and others whom I have played against. I will certainly meet them after matches. We know each other from the age of 16-17. Will certainly do that.

India-Sri Lanka rivalry over the years:
You may call it a friendly rivalry... The unfortunate thing is we have not won a Test here. It's still healthy. Gained a lot from India. Thankful for that. It would be interesting to win a Test here.

Angelo Mathews not bowling:
He has not bowled in a Test for a while. I don't think he will bowl, that I know for sure. We take him as a white ball bowler. We will be looking him to bowl in only ODIs.

All-rounder options:
Angelo comes in as a batsman. We have Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjany de Silva to fill in that role. May be Roshen Silva can come in.

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