Virat Kohli 100th test: Good decision by BCCI to allow 50 percent viewers, says Dimuth Karunaratne

Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne has praised the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) decision to allow a 50 per cent spectator rating for Virat Kohli’s 100th test match in Mohali, which begins on Friday.

BCCI gave the green light to the Punjab Cricket Association to host the 1st Test between India and Sri Lanka with a 50 per cent capacity at the PCA Stadium. The BCCI’s decision is welcome news for spectators, who will be able to watch Virat Kohli’s 100th test from the stands.

It would also be a milestone for Karunaratne as he would lead his country in their 300th Test. Karunaratne said he was happy that many people would be present for the first test. The BCCI has allowed spectators at 50 percent of stadium capacity for the landmark game.

“It’s a great feeling… to be the captain of the country’s 300th Test. I didn’t expect it. It’s a great honor for me. I will do my best to get the best result for Sri Lanka,” he said in the virtual media interaction.

“I have learned that this is Virat’s 100th test. A good decision by the BCCI to allow 50 percent viewership,” he added.

Mendis was expelled: Dimuth Karunaratne

Pacer Kusal Mendis’ hamstring injury continues to keep him out but wicketkeeper batter Niroshan Dickwella is back after serving a year’s suspension for a biobladder violation, said Sri Lankan skipper Dimuth Karunaratne.

Both Dickwella and Mendis have been banned for a year for breaching biobubble protocols during Sri Lanka’s England tour last year. Mendis’ inclusion for this tour was dependent on fitness following a hamstring injury during the fifth T20I against Australia. That’s why he didn’t play against India in the T20Is.

“Dickwella will be the wicketkeeper, (pacemaker) Dushmantha Chameera will be rested and available for the pink ball test and Mendis has been ruled out,” he said on the eve of the first test.

“Sri Lankan players have trained hard”

Speaking about the preparations in Sri Lanka, Karunaratne said that everything went as planned as they devised their strategies for the game.

“Sri Lankan players have been training hard and everyone is in good shape. Hopefully they will show good form in the two tests,” he said.

Karunaratne said the team has plans for young Indian sluggers like Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gil, who are expected to take the places of veterans Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara.

Rahane and Pujara were dropped for the Tests against Sri Lanka due to a prolonged period of weakness with the racquet.

“Yes, we have some plans. Some youths are playing… they are to take the place of Rahane and Pujara. We try to implement the plans

He also said spinners like Lasith Embuldeniya have done a good job in recent years and can benefit from traditionally spin-friendly Indian conditions.

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