Colombo:A depleted India will be thoroughly tested by the SLC Board President's XI, which boasts of six players from Sri Lanka's Test squad, in the three-day warm-up match starting at the Colts Cricket Club here on Tuesday.
India's pace bowling department is in complete disarray with spearhead Zaheer Khan missing the tour because of a shoulder injury and speedster S Sreesanth being ruled out with a knee injury.
To make matters worse, star spinner Harbhajan Singh is also down with fever even though the offie is certain to play the three-match Test series starting at Galle on July 18.
Over the next three days, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men would lock horns with a strong Board President's XI, which would also include mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis though he not named in the Sri Lankan squad for the first Test.
The presence of Dilhara Fernando, Chanaka Welegedara and Mendis renders a formidable look to the Board President's XI attack.
Their batting looks decent enough with Thilan Samaraweera, Upul Tharanga and Lahiru Thirimanne in the ranks to frustrate India's depleted attack.
In Zaheer's absence, his replacement Abhimanyu Mithun would fancy his chances of partnering Ishant Sharma and the warm-up match would be a perfect dress rehearsal for the Karnataka rookie ahead of the Test series.
In the slow bowling department, the team management is unlikely to risk Harbhajan and instead are expected to field both Amit Mishra and Pragyan Ojha before determining who should partner Harbhajan in the first Test.
Meanwhile, all eyes will be on Mendis tomorrow with the hosts hoping him to torment the Indian batsmen just like he had done two years ago.
With Muttiah Muralitharan retiring after the first Test, Mendis has a golden opportunity to stake his claim in the Sri Lankan squad for the second and third Tests and the warm-up match would be another occasion to impress the selectors about his ability.