'We have to change our balance in the bowling attack'
With the individual brilliance of just-retired Muttiah Muralitharan and Lasith Malinga missing, Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara on Sunday said his team will have to build bowling partnerships to trouble the Indians in the second cricket Test starting in Colombo on Monday.
"Absence of Murali and Malinga has opened up a chance for other bowlers. We have to now look for a partnership effort in bowling," Sangakkara said on the eve of the second Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground.
"If they bowl to a plan, they can be effective. They should bowl in the right areas. Let us see how it works out. We have to change our balance in the bowling attack a bit but the attitude remains the same," he said.
Now that Muralitharan has walked into the Test sunset, Sangakkara is pinning hopes on carrom ball bowler Ajantha Mendis who has returned to the squad for the second Test after missing out the first at Galle.
Image: Sri Lanka's selection committee chairman Aravinda De Silva (left) has an animated discussion with captain Kumar Sangakkara (right) during a practice session in Colombo on Sunday
'We hope Mendis comes good in the 2nd Test'
Mendis, who tormented India in their last tour of Sri Lanka with 26 wickets in three Tests in 2008, did well for Sri Lanka Board President's XI in the warm-up game with a 6 for 67 haul.
"Mendis bowled well in the warm-up game and we are hoping that he will do well in the second Test. We also have Rangana Herath and Suraj Randiv in the wings," the home team captain said. "In the pace department, Angelo Mathews is bowling with good seam. He can bowl well if there is something in the wicket," he said.
Asked how Sri Lanka keep on producing good bowlers with different action, like a Mendis or a Malinga, Sangakkara said, "One of reasons is that we have a lot of rubber and tennis-ball cricket and bowlers can come out with new things."
"Many of us have undergone formalised training based on English techniques," he said.
Sangakkara said the SSC will be a typical Sri Lankan pitch with lots of runs in it.
"SSC is a good wicket as it used to be earlier. I am sure the curator has done a good job, it has a lot of run earlier," he said.
Image: Sri Lanka's Ajantha Mendis bowls in the nets during a practice session in Colombo on Sunday