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Pallekele Test, Ind vs SL: Virat Kohli urges boys not to get complacent

News Agencies | Updated on: 11 August 2017, 18:19 IST
Pallekele Test, Ind vs SL

With India already having won the Test series against Sri Lanka, skipper Virat Kohli wants his boys not to get complacent and rather focus on their job during the third and final Test of the series beginning Saturday at the Pallekele International Stadium in Kandy.

India will be heading into the Pallekele Test, eyeing a historic whitewash against the Lankan Tigers. If Kohli and Co. achieve the feat, it would be their first whitewash against a major team in overseas conditions.

However, Kohli wants his boys not to get complacent and rather focus on their job.

"For us, it's all about playing another Test match. We have already won the series. It doesn't mean we cannot afford to be complacent, you can't look at these things and go to a game, we are not thinking about these things," said Kohli addressing a press conference on the eve of the Test match.

"I personally feel it is just a distraction, we need to stay in the present, and treat every session and game with respect. It's exactly what are we are looking for," the 28-year-old added.

Kohli also hinted that left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav has a "good chance" of playing in the dead rubber.

"A guy like Kuldeep Yadav is willing to bowl in any situation. He has proved himself in Dharamsala and has a good chance of playing tomorrow. We feel comfortable going into the test match even though we did not have a practice today," said Kohli.

Shortly after bowling India to a comprehensive victory in the Colombo Test that gave the tourists an unassailable 2-0 series lead, star Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was suspended for the third and final Test of the series having accumulated six demerit points inside a 24-month period.

And in all likelihood, 22-year-old Kuldeep is slated to make his second Test appearance in the dead rubber.

The left-arm Chinaman made his Test debut against Australia in the Dharamsala Test in March this year, where he impressed everyone with his four-wicket haul.

Speaking about the impact of youngsters in the team, Kohli said, "Not that we are old; all these young guys coming in, one thing striking about them is their confidence."

On the other hand, Sri Lanka will make two forced changes following the injury-driven unavailability of Nuwan Pradeep, its pace spearhead, and Rangana Herath, the prolific left-arm spinner. The greenhorn attack - which is what it will be, no matter who makes up the bowling unit - will have its work cut out against a batting line-up that has topped 600 six times in its last nine Tests.

India have not played a Test in Pallekele before but that should be no deterrent to a team that has chosen to chart its own path to glory.

Probable India XI: Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, R Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami

Probable Sri Lanka XI: Upul Tharanga, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva,Dilruwan Perera, Dushmantha Chameera/ Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando, Lahiru Kumara.


First published: 11 August 2017, 18:19 IST