Colombo: Eager to see how Virat Kohli shapes up as a leader, former Sri Lankan batsman Romesh Kaluwitharana said India's new firebrand cricket captain looks hungry for wins but has to deal with a mountain of expectations as well.
"For India, expectations will be high too. A lot of people back in their country have a keen interest and they will watch how Kohli shapes up as skipper. He will have to deal with all those expectations. I am sure the new captain wants to perform and is very hungry to win," Kaluwitharana said.
But the former wicketkeeper/batsman, who is also the current Sri Lanka A coach and doubled up as the Board President's XI coach during the three-day practice match here, said the upcoming three-Test series is also very important for the Sri Lankans.
"This series is very important for Sri Lanka. We couldn't do well against Pakistan in the last series and we need to find our way back because that will be a key factor regarding how we move ahead into the future. Also, Sri Lanka will give everything to win the series for Sangakkara," he said.
India drew their only practice match ahead of the Tests staring August 12 but Kaluwitharana said that result won't count for much in the series.
"You can say that they have had a bit of a break so it showed a bit. But overall these Indian cricketers put in performances through the year and that also shows in how they prepare," said Kaluwitharana on Sunday.
"They looked very balanced and focused ahead of this series and what will also be the start of the new season for them. I was particularly impressed with their bowling in this three-day match. The batsmen didn't spend a lot of time in the middle but they were hitting balls in the nets as well. All in all, I think they are ready for the Test series," he added.
India scored 351 and 180 runs in their two innings in the practice match. Their bowlers did much better, restricting Board President's XI to 121 and 200/6.
Ajinkya Rahane scored a hundred on day one, and Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara were also among the runs.