Indians enjoying Sri Lankan hospitality


by Rex Clementine

The members of the Indian cricket team arrived in Colombo on Wednesday for World T-20 and have looked relaxed leading up to the tournament. India were here last month as well for an ODI series and the regular visits they make to the island makes Sri Lanka a familiar place for them.

While hosts Sri Lanka will be playing in all three venues that host the tournament matches, the host board has been hospitable towards the Indians letting them play all their games at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

The last time the Indians were here they started off their campaign in Hambantota where the first two ODIs were played.

"It’s good for the team. We are in Colombo and we can have Chinese and Indian food at our hotel. At the same time we know how the wicket will play at R. Premadasa as we have played a lot of matches there. It’s good for us," middle-order batsman Suresh Raina told journalists.

All-rounder Irfan Pathan, who picked up a five-wicket haul in the warm-up game against Sri Lanka on Saturday at P. Sara Oval was also happy that they are not made to travel seven hours to Hambantota.

"It’s an advantage that we remain in Colombo. I was asked the same question by the television guys earlier on. But then you see you have to play well on a particular day."

Pathan also felt that the Sri Lankan conditions were the best in the Asian region for bowlers.

"In the Asian region, Sri Lanka is the best place for bowlers. It is humid, but pitches have bounce. That’s why Sri Lankans have done consistently well abroad. I love coming to Sri Lanka and playing in Sri Lanka."

Raina, who had a prolific series the last time India were here, felt that the crowd support in Sri Lanka also kept him going.

"The Sri Lankan crowd is one of the best in the world. They support each and every player of all counties. I hope we do well in these conditions."

India also have enjoyed a good run in Sri Lankan conditions in the last five years or so and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin felt that it was due to the wickets found in Sri Lanka.

"It’s got to do with the fact that wickets are really good for batting and we have these wickets in Sri Lanka. There had been good bounce and stuff. What I mean is not the low wickets that we get in some parts of India. We get good wickets and we have done well in these conditions."

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