It’s about playing smart cricket – Ratnayake

10 - March - 2018 | 289 Views | Share

High riding Sri Lanka led by Dinesh Chandimal will walk into the middle towering with confidence as the unchanged team take on Bangladesh in the third T20 match of the Nidahas Trophy T20 Tri-Series to be played at R. Premadasa Stadium today.

Sri Lanka who were suffering from their highest losing streak in 2017, defeat after a defeat, going down on rankings, getting beaten by Bangladesh and Zimbabwe and etc. They almost looked like a lost unit before walking to the middle.

That was before the arrival of maestro Head Coach Chandika Hathurusinghe, who left the Bangladesh team to take up the responsibilities of his native SL team which he did and changed things around. He transformed the Sri Lanka team into a strong unit as displayed by their remarkable comeback in Bangladesh to win the Test, T20 and tri Nation ODI series despite losing their regular red ball skipper Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal continuing to lead in all three formats.

"Talent is plentiful in our team, it's just that the mindset of the boys – and I think coach Hathuru has played a maximum part in that – I would say he has changed their mindset by letting them do things on their own," said the bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayake ahead of the Bangladesh game.

"It's all about smart options, I think he's let players take smart options and even if you fail he will say 'well, that was good enough, let's try again next time'." For example, you tell a boy to go and play some shots but if he gets out, you can't ask him 'why did you play that shot?' He's a man of his word. And we have given the players that confidence and if it has shown in the boys, that's good. But consistency is what we're looking for in the future."

"Yes, we have seen a change, but we're taking each game as it comes. Our ambition is to get the team ready for the World Cup, and that is what we are working towards."

Nevertheless Ratnayake said there is no underestimation about the Bangladeshi ability to turn things around.

"Maybe they're going through a little bit of a rough patch, but we take every match seriously. And I'm sure they would want to go and show us that they're something different. But we're well prepared and we're ready for it."

Ratnayake further said rather than playing aggressively or a certain brand of cricket, they are looking to play smart cricket.

"It's about playing smart – according to the situation, is what we will do. If there needs to be a change in the strike and going to the other end, that's what we have to do. If there are two balls to score 10 runs, we have to do that. We will go for it. We're talking about smart options that are taken, evaluate those smart options at the end of the day."

"It's not about being ruthless; it's about playing a smarter game and playing to the best of our abilities. I think people were very fortunate to see some good part of the game won against India in the last match. Because it's not about winning one part, it was many parts and your chances are enhanced by making those parts bigger and better."

"It's important that we continue to play smart cricket. What is smart cricket? It's about adapting to, in-game situations quickly. What Hathuru has done since he came in, is he has given the players the freedom to take those decisions," said Ratnayake.

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