Sri Lanka v West Indies, 1st Test, Galle November 14, 2010

Sangakkara confident of spin options


Captain Kumar Sangakkara has backed the trio of spinners named in Sri Lanka's squad for the first Test against West Indies starting on Monday at the Galle International Stadium, saying Sri Lankan spin is in good hands despite the retirement of Muttiah Muralitharan.

This is the first Test series Sri Lanka are playing since Muralitharan retired at this venue five months ago after taking his 800th Test wicket and bowling his country to a win against India with a match bag of ten wickets.

"We don't have Murali but we have three other bowlers who are very capable. [Ajantha] Mendis, [Rangana] Herath and [Suraj] Randiv have been very impressive in everything they've done," Sangakkara said. "Sri Lankan spin is in very good hands and in the future if they keep improving and working hard they'll get a lot better."

Sangakkara singled out Randiv for special praise and tipped Mendis to make a strong comeback after he missed the tour of Australia. "Randiv is already the main spinner in all forms of the game; that's a meteoric rise in the last two years," he said.

"Rangana Herath is a more solid and experienced bowler and he's done a great job for us. Mendis has had a tough six or seven months where he's had a lot of variations in his thinking rather than in his bowling. The time off from the pressures of international cricket has given him breathing space."

With allrounder Angelo Mathews unable to bowl because of a thigh strain, Sri Lanka have opted to go into the first Test with two seamers and two spinners. "We've got four proper bowlers and we expect them to do the job," Sangakkara said. "If we need a fifth bowler, we may be in a bit of trouble, but before we get to that we have got to keep putting pressure on the opposition." The options of fifth bowler left to Sangakkara are the offspin of Tillakaratne Dilshan, Thilan Samaraweera and Tharanga Paranavitana

Sangakkara described the Galle surface as good for batting with some help for the spinners. "It's a nice wicket with more carry and bounce than we've ever seen."

Sri Lanka have won five out of the six Tests they have played against the West Indies at home with one ending in a draw.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anver on November 15, 2010, 11:27 GMT

    Suraj Randhiv deserves a place in all 3 formats.... he's a fast learner n a bright prospect for Sri Lanka.

  • Dummy4 on November 15, 2010, 10:23 GMT

    No experienced bowler for SL. I'm sure that they have to suffer for that. At least they have to add Rangana Herath. Sanga sucks again

  • James on November 15, 2010, 7:26 GMT

    Once SL bowlers make an initial dent, the WI may very well cave in (though this time there are guys like Dwayne Bravo, Chanderpaul and Nash who will claw their way back). SL always hopes to win the toss and bat first, in which case all is fine, but if they lose the toss, it will be a tough five days ahead. Disappointed to see Herath sit out- only one among the current lot who could make an opening. SL batting will easily manage a draw (this WI attack may not get the SL top six out twice), but unfortunately without Murali and Vaas, winning a toss has become essential for SL winning chances. Again, wonder why with such strong batsman in top six, why SL should play Mathews at 7(instead of an attacking bowler like Herath or Kulasekhara)

  • Andrew on November 15, 2010, 2:23 GMT

    I acyually hoping that WIndies put up a real fight. They have underperformed for too long. Either way I hope good cricket is played.

  • Dummy4 on November 15, 2010, 0:14 GMT

    Sri Lanka have nothing to worry about ....WI is in a hot mes and I can say that becaue i AM sadly a West Indian, so dont worry sanga the WICB helped u out more than u needed by just selecting this team lol

  • Julian on November 14, 2010, 21:40 GMT

    What I'm really concerned about is the fast bowling attack of SL. Dilhara Fernando and Welegedera were thrashed by India in tests and Fernando did well in one Twenty20 match in Australia. I'm curious to see how this match plays out. It should be a good match. I agree with stormy16's comments too about the batting

  • harcosh on November 14, 2010, 16:51 GMT

    Murali can give bowling coach to junior spin bowlers if need, of course Sri Lanka need one more fast bowler as well as one pillar spin bowler like Murali

  • Dru on November 14, 2010, 16:46 GMT

    This is a make or break tour for Ajantha Mendis. If he doesnt get selected its a sure sign of a flash in the pan. If he is selected he must show is worth or kiss his future test career good bye. Mathews unable to bowl places his batting under serios presure. Not sure if his test record warrants his place unless he gets soild performances under the belt - yes he is a good one day player but this is a different ball game. Everyone keeps focusing on the loss of Murali and the bowling but I am yet to see a young quality batsman to take over from Sanga and Mahela. Remember these two were class as 23 year olds and it shows now but SL havent got young quality batsmana and havent had for a long time.

  • Dummy4 on November 14, 2010, 12:51 GMT

    SL will win surely although our bowling attack looked inexperience still we are good enough to beat Windies,

  • Dummy4 on November 14, 2010, 12:16 GMT

    SL still got the strongest spin attack in the world without Murali..

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