It'll be Lankan spin vs Indian batting: Arjuna

The former Lankan captain says he would like to see Muralitharan and Mendis bowling in tandem to Tendulkar and Ganguly.

updated: July 20, 2008 11:38 IST
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Predicting some really high quality action during the upcoming home series against India, Sri Lanka's former captain Arjuna Ranatunga said it will be good Sri Lankan spin attack against the world's best batting lineup.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a tour promotion programme here today, he said, "It will be a tough series for Sri Lanka against India whether it plays at home or abroad".

"The Sri Lankan team consists of some young guys and experienced players which can beat any team anywhere," he said However, the former skipper, who led his country to their only world cup title in 1996, maintained that the Lankan bowlers should be patient in putting the ball in the right areas to maintain a good line and length throughout the match.

"Test cricket is different from one-day internationals. We need to be patient especially in bowling department," he said.

Asked whether Sri Lanka's new bowling sensation Ajantha Mendis would be included in the playing eleven for the first Test to be held on July 23, he said it was up to the selection committee to decide.

"As far as I am concerned, Mendis should be included in the playing eleven for the first Test. I would like to see both Murali and Mendis bowling at both ends to Sachin and Ganguly."

Asked about the preparation of pitches for this series, he said, "It will be sporting".

Ranatunga urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to prepare a balanced cricketing itinerary.

"Cricket players should come forward and chalk out a proposal to ICC that how many One-Day Internationals (ODI) and Tests should be played in a calendar year," he said.

"Based on the proposal, ICC should prepare a balanced itinerary so that there is a equal proportion of both ODI and test cricket in an year," he added.

"As far as I am concerned, a player can play a maximum of 35 ODIs and 15 test matches a year," he said pointing out that Sri Lanka played only four Test matches last year.

Unfortunately, no player had come forward to give his opinion or proposal on how much cricket should be played in a year, he said.

While justifying his idea of introducing balanced itinerary, he said now a days players could not continue their cricketing career for more than ten years due to their unbalanced itinerary of playing more ODIs and cricket leagues.

He also urged the cricket players to save and preserve Test cricket in the wake of 'money making' Indian Premier League (IPL).

"It is most important to preserve Test cricket. As far as I am concerned when it comes to Twenty20, it is money making business", he said.