Kolkata : For Rangana Herath, the two-day game against Board President’s XI may be a warm-up game but for home team skipper Sanju Samson, it is an opportunity to gain experience of facing one of the best spinners in world cricket.
“He (Herath) is a very experienced cricketer. It is a practice match for him but for us it’s a great opportunity to face him. He is one of the greatest spinners Sri Lanka have ever seen. He is one of the legends and to go there and play against him will be a great experience,” Samson told reporters ahead of the game.
The BCCI has opted for a third-string side giving chance to the players, who are not playing in the ongoing fifth round Ranji Trophy for the tour-match at Jadavpur University second campus ground in Saltlake. Sending a clear message to his team, Samson said: “It is a practice match for them but it’s not a practice match for us. We will be looking forward to beat them in the coming match on Saturday. We are lucky to get a good opportunity in this gap.”
For Samson, this is an opportunity to make a statement to national selectors with a solid performance.
“Each and every individual in the team has put his heart together for past many years to perform at this level. It’s just a one match but it’s a great opportunity for each and everyone of us. We should look this as a great platform to perform and give everyone a chance and succeed.”
Samson, who was appointed captain after Naman Ojha was ruled out with an injury, will lead the side on his 23rd birthday. “I have led Kerala for a season and I am up for the challenge. We will have a team strategy,” he said on the eve of his birthday. “All of us know each other well as we have been playing domestic matches for many seasons. We have played against and together.”
The Board President XI captain however conceded that they have not done much planning against the touring side who have a lot of youngsters in their ranks. “They are a quality Test side with a lot of talented and experienced players. They have a lot of new guys in their team. We will take some time and see, we did not have enough time to plan,” he concluded.