Sri Lanka has a team good enough to beat India in the second test and level the three-match series despite a heavy defeat in the first game last week, captain Dinesh Chandimal said Wednesday. Chandimal, who was named test captain after the resignation of Angelo Mathews, missed the first match because of pneumonia. He said his team has trained hard and is in a good state of mind to take on the No. 1-ranked test team starting Thursday.
India beat Sri Lanka by 304 runs in the first test in Galle with a day to spare.
"We trained for three days all the players are in a good state of mind," Chandimal said. "I go into every match hoping to win. I have that determination and I have good players as well."
Sri Lanka is likely to hand a first international cap to left-arm spin bowler Malinda Pushpakumara to partner veteran Rangana Herath, Chandimal said.
If Pushpakumara plays, it will be the 30-year-old bowler's 100th first class match. He has 558 wickets in his first class career.
Batsman Dhananjaya de Silva will replace injured Asela Gunaratne while Herath has recovered from a finger injury sustained in the last test match.
India captain Virat Kohli said that opening batsman Lokesh Rahul will return to the side after missing the first match because of the flu.
While both openers played in the last match had done well, Kohli said it was important to back Rahul considering his consistent contribution to the team.
"I feel one of the openers will have to make way for KL (Rahul) because what he has done for us in the past two years has been very solid. He deserves to come back and start fresh in test cricket again," Kohli said.
Abhinav Mukund is likely to make way for him.