Sri Lanka look to break jinx against India

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara is determined to set the record straight when his team contest a three-Test series against India starting next week.

Updated: November 09, 2009 09:04 IST
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Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara is determined to set the record straight when his team contest a three-Test series against India starting next week.

Sri Lanka, currently the number two Test side behind South Africa, have not won any of their 14 Test matches on six previous visits to India since 1982.

"It's a record we hope to rectify," Sangakkara said on Monday ahead of the seven-week tour that includes three Tests, two Twenty20 matches and five one-day internationals.

Sangakkara said the pressure would be on India to maintain their unbeaten record, and hoped Australia's one-day series win over Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side would help his inexperienced team.

"We know we have not won here and we need to try and change that," the Sri Lankan captain said. "We are here to relax, enjoy and not worry about history, and try and put as much pressure on the Indians as possible.

"It will be interesting to see how India react to the defeat against an under-strength Australian side. Some react positively while some don't".

Australia took a decisive 4-2 lead in the seven-match series on Sunday despite having at least nine one-day regulars on the injured list.

Sangakkara, former captain Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Thilan Samaraweera and star spinner Muttiah Muralitharan are the only ones in the touring side to have played a Test in India before.

But Sangakkara said the lack of Test experience was not a handicap.

"Inexperience is sometimes a good thing as the Indian batsmen have not played our fast bowlers regularly in the longer form of the game which can work to our advantage," he said.

"Sometimes a fresh perspective, attitude and enthusiasm could be an added bonus".

Muralitharan, Test cricket's leading bowler with 783 wickets, has managed just 31 scalps in eight matches on Indian soil at an expensive average of 39.58.

The off-spinner, 37, will once again lead the attack with help from fellow spinners Rangana Herath and Ajantha Mendis, and upcoming all-rounder Angelo Mathews.

"Mathews gives us the flexibility of playing three spinners on a spin-friendly wicket, or three fast bowlers if needed," said Sangakkara. "We have a lot of options."

The tourists play a three-day practice match against the Indian Board President's XI in Mumbai from Wednesday, before the first Test opens in Ahmedabad on November 16.

The remaining Tests will be played in Kanpur (November 24-28) and Mumbai (December 2-6).

Sri Lanka's Test squad: Kumar Sangakkara (Captain), Muttiah Muralitharan, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Tharanga Paranavitana, Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Thilina Kandamby, Prasanna Jayawardene, Kaushal Silva, Chanaka Welegedara, Thilan Thushara, Nuwan Kulasekera, Dammika Prasad, Rangana Herath, Ajantha Mendis.

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