Tests will show our potential, says Sri Lankan coach

Colombo: Sri Lanka has put their dismal one-day tour of India behind it and is geared up for a better show in the Test series, coach Tom Moody said on Monday.

India, who thrashed a lacklustre Sri Lanka 6-1 in the one-day series earlier this month, will host the Lankans again for three Tests starting in Chennai on December 2.

"Great teams are those which bounce back after a bad series," Moody told reporters ahead of the team's departure for India on Friday.

"The Tests are an opportunity to show our class."

The experience of the one-day tour will help Sri Lanka plan for the Test matches, said Moody.

"We learnt a lot during the one-dayers and the Tests will really show the true potential of the team,'' the former Australian international said.

"We had a good look at some of the Indian players who were relatively new on the big stage and also at their strategies."

Sri Lanka, which went into the one-day series ranked second in the world in one-dayers, never recovered after crashing to four successive defeats.

``The confidence of the individuals suffered a lot after those defeats,'' Moody said. ``Our batting lacked consistency and it put tremendous pressure on the bowlers."

The Sri Lankan selectors axed veteran Sanath Jayasuriya for the Tests, replacing him with Chamara Kapugedara, a promising 18-year-old who has played just one first-class game.

Other uncapped players in the team are left-arm spinner Sajeeva Weerakoon, 27, and opener Upul Tharanga, 20.

Left-handed opener Avishka Gunawardene has also been recalled along with leg-spinner Malinga Bandara, who played his lone Test against New Zealand in 1998.

The good news for Sri Lanka is that spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan and all-rounder Farveez Maharoof are fit again after suffering injuries in India.

Sri Lanka will play a three-day practice match in Bangalore from November 26-28 before the first Test in Chennai from December 2.

The second Test will be held in New Delhi from Dec. 10 to 14 and the third in Kanpur from Dec. 18 to 22. — AFP