REUTERS – Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews won the toss and opted to bat in the first of the two-test series against West Indies at the Galle International Stadium on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka, who lost their last two test series at home against Pakistan and India, handed a debut to all-rounder Milinda Siriwardana.
The hosts, who are in transition after the retirements of batting stalwarts Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, also included off-spinner Tharindu Kaushal, who was recently banned from bowling the doosra, in the team.
“The wicket looks a typical Galle wicket, lots of runs on it. It will be a bit slow as well but will turn later on in a day or two,” Mathews said at the toss.
West Indies captain Jason Holder, leading the team for the first time in tests, said he would hope to take advantage of having four pace bowlers in the side while bowling first.
“I would like to have batted first. But nevertheless it looks pretty good. We have four fast bowlers,” Holder said.
“We came here to win the test series. Both teams I believe are evenly matched. It just depends on who does better on a particular day.”
Sri Lanka: Kaushal Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews (captain), Milinda Siriwardana, Kusal Perera, Dhammika Prasad, Tharindu Kaushal, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Pradeep
West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Jermaine Blackwood, Denesh Ramdin, Jason Holder (captain), Devendra Bishoo, Jerome Taylor, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel
(Writing by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Greg Stutchbury)