Cricket: Kapil Dev's sights on Test record

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The Independent Online
KAPIL DEV will be the main attraction when India open a three-Test series against Sri Lanka in Lucknow today. The 34-year-old all-rounder needs seven more victims to break Sir Richard Hadlee's record of 431 Test wickets.

The wicket at the K D Singh stadium has a reputation for favouring batsmen before helping spinners towards the end of a Test match. However, rain last week has softened the ground and may help his fast-medium swing and seam. If Kapil falls short in Lucknow, where he will also have the advantage of bowling to Sri Lankan batsmen who have had little practice, then he has further chances in Bangalore and Ahmedabad.

The Sri Lankan captain, Arjuna Ranatunga, is likely to bring in at least one new cap, either the medium-pace bowler, Ravindra Pushpakumara, or a batsman Anura Gunawardene. His Indian counterpart, Mohammad Azharuddin, will also have to decide between the pace bowler, Javagal Srinath, and the spinner Venkatapathy Raju. The wicketkeeper, Nayan Mongia, makes his Test debut.

INDIA (v Sri Lanka, first Test, Luckow, today; from): M Azharuddin (capt), N S Sidhu, M Prabhakar, A S Jajeda, S V Manjrekar, S R Tendulkar, Kapil Dev, J Srinath, A Kumble, Venkatapathy Raju, R K Chauhan, N R Mongia (wkt).

SRI LANKA (from): A Ranatunga (capt), R S Mahamana, D P Samaraweera, H P Tillakaratne, P A de Silva, S T Jayasuriya, R S Kalpage, M S Atapattu, R Pushpakumara, G P Wickramasinghe, A A W Gunawardene, P Dissanayake (wkt).