While there are many former India greats who think that Virat Kohli and Co. will emerge victorious against the Sri Lanka side, even the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan feel likewise. "Winning the first Test match is very important.it gives you the momentum in the series".
Kapil Dev remembered his sacking from the Indian team in the fourth Test against England at the Eden Gardens in December 1984. "We know India are the number one team at the moment and have seen them play some really good cricket in the last two years".
He continued: "We have done all that we could have done to prepare for this challenge". So it's a dream for us to win one this time. "Our focus is on winning the series against Sri Lanka now".
Injuries aside, it has been a hard year for Mathews, who until earlier this year was the skipper of the side in all three formats of the game. "The opening Test of the series is always important". "It's internal - the discipline, the culture and how the teams stick together". We know the conditions but we are not taking Sri Lanka lightly though we had a good series there. We have some happy memories having made things tougher for them.
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Could you see him wearing the blue coat one day? "I am 35 years in this job [as a football manager]". I don't know [if] as a director, as a manager - as long as possible as a manager.
The 30-year-old only bowled five overs in his team's only warm-up game against a Board President's XI ahead of the first Test that starts in Kolkata on 16 November.
Sri Lanka have two batsmen in Dimuth Karunaratne (17th) and captain Dinesh Chandimal (20th) inside the top-20, while batsmen aiming for upward movement are Angelo Mathews (24th), Niroshan Dickwella (40th), Dilruwan Perera (78th) and Lahiru Thirimanne (113th).
But Murali was quick to point out that, Sri Lanka in the 2000s was equally dominant at home, beating India in Tests on quite a few occasions. The 28-year-old, who has played 32 Tests to date in which he has taken 155 wickets and scored 1136 runs, now sits second in both the categories.