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Chandika Hathurusingha can’t do miracles, time for Sri Lanka to raise the bar: Thisara Perera

Sri Lanka all-rounder Thisara Perera feels the players need to support coach Chandika Hathurusingha as he alone can’t revive the fortunes of the team.

cricket Updated: Jan 20, 2018 14:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Thisara Perera,Chandika Hathurusingha,Sri Lanka Cricket Team
Thisara Perera feels Chandika Hathurusingha needs time and support from Sri Lanka players in order to make a difference. (PTI )

The tide of fortune has swung in opposite directions for Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Sri Lanka, the winners of 1996 World Cup and for long a force to reckon with in limited-overs cricket, had a dismal 2017 where they lost 23 out of 29 matches. Bangladesh, on the other hand, emerged as a tough opposition with the team making it to the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy in England.

And the things don’t seem to be changing for the sides in 2018 too. In the ongoing tri-nation series, which also features Zimbabwe, Bangladesh have won both their games while Sri Lanka have suffered defeats in their two games so far. The latest match of the series was played on Friday where Mashrafe Mortaza’s side thumped the Dinesh Chandimal-led Sri Lanka by 163 runs to register their biggest ODI win in terms of number of runs.

(Read | Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal guide Bangladesh to record win over Sri Lanka)

The contrasting mood of the two camps was evident in the way their captains spoke after the match.

Thisara Perera defended the team’s newly appointed coach Chandika Hathurusingha, who recently held a special camp with the ODI squad besides making some changes in the team. Hathurusingha had earlier worked with Bangladesh and was considered instrumental in changing the fortune of the Tigers.

(Read | Big Bash League: Luke Wright, England all-rounder, ends stint with Melbourne Stars)

“Having Chandika Hathurusingha is a plus point for us, because he is one of the best coaches in the world. Previously I have worked with him in the Sri Lanka A team as well. But he needs time. No one can do miracles. I think it is time for the team to step up, with this new coach,” Perera was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo after the match.

Thisara underlined batting failure as the reason behind Sri Lanka’s loss and urged his team members to step up in the remaining games.

(Read | More pain awaits Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team in South Africa, hints Mark Boucher)

“This was definitely a 300-run wicket - our batting just didn’t click. When we look at the last match against Zimbabwe, we have a lot of positives to take from our batting, but in this match, we couldn’t execute our batting plans,” he said.

“No one can say when we will rise up. I have faith that we can go far with our new coach,” he said.

(Read | BCCI may soon face Rs 800 crore-plus tax bomb)

Shakib Al Hasan, on the other hand, had not much to worry and the all-rounder was mighty pleased with the performance of his team. He was also excited seeing a healthy competition among Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and himself. On Friday, all three players slammed a fifty each to fashion Bangladesh’s huge win.

“Everyone has their own expectation but it is good for the team that three of us are competing against each other. Of course we don’t wish each other bad. But each of us is trying to score more runs than the other two and it is a good practice. The more we can do this it will give us more chance to score runs,” he said.

Shakib chose not to answer questions on the team’s former coach Hathurusingha who is now with Sri Lankan side. He, however, was all praise for the present support staff of the team.

“Those who do our planning, they have had a change in their mindset. We have had a change of coach, so the new person in charge has his own thinking. I won’t say we played without freedom in the past but now we are also playing freely. At the same time, we are also taking our own decisions. This is a big advantage for everyone to be involved. Khaled Mahmud, Sujon bhai and Richard Halsall know what we need; they have been providing and we have been utilizing it,” he said.

First Published: Jan 20, 2018 14:13 IST