India vs Sri Lanka: Hosts can only compete if they prepare favourable pitches, says Gautam Gambhir

PTI, Jul, 22 2017

Mumbai: Sri Lanka can trouble India in the upcoming Test series only if they prepare favourable pitches for their bowlers, reckons veteran opener Gautam Gambhir.

Sri Lanka are facing a crisis of confidence after an embarrassing 2-3 series defeat against lower-ranked Zimbabwe in the ODIs. They managed to pull off a face-saving win in the one-off Test against the African nation ahead of India tour.

Gambhir says India will be too good for Sri Lanka in the tour, beginning with the first Test from 26 July.

Sri Lanka's Nuwan Pradeep (2nd R) celebrates with teammates after taking the catch to dismiss India's Rohit Sharma (not pictured) during the fourth day of their third and final test cricket match in Colombo August 31, 2015. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte - RTX1QCXI

File image of Sri Lankan Test cricket team. Reuters

"Obviously, India start as favourites because they are the world number 1 and Sri Lanka, the way they have played, they don't have the bowling attack to trouble India. The only way Sri Lanka can trouble India is to prepare wickets which work for their bowlers," Gambhir told PTI during an interaction.

"The only way Sri Lanka can compete is if they can manage to get 20 wickets and to do that they need to have pitches in their favour," Gambhir added.

The left-handed batsman will be part of ESPNcricinfo's new show 'Turn and Bounce' as an expert.

India played the Champions Trophy, where they ended runners up and then an ODI series in the West Indies before concluding their Caribbean tour with an one-off Twenty 20.

Gambhir said quick change in format is not an issue with international teams now.

"Even Sri Lanka played the Champions Trophy, they only had one Test match against Zimbabwe, that is how international cricket is now. You need to get mentally ready to get used to different formats," he added.

Sri Lanka managed a big chase against Zimbabwe, scoring 391 for four in the fourth innings of one-off Test but Gambhir says playing India is an altogether different challenge.

"It is always good to win against any opposition but you can't compare Zimbabwe to India. India will be a completely different challenge. It will be far difficult," he said.

The batsman also stressed on the importance of openers in any format of the game.

"Openers are always important in any format, not only in Test cricket, but in ODIs and T20s, the platform set by openers is important, it gives middle order liberty to go and play the way they want to," said Gambhir.

Published Date: Jul 22, 2017 | Updated Date: Jul 22, 2017



Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4579 114
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115