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Coach Chandika Hathurusingha key to changing Sri Lanka mindset: Rumesh Ratnayake

Sri Lanka have enjoyed a great last couple of months after Chandika Hathurusingha took over as coach and fast bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayake has hailed his role in the turnaround.

cricket Updated: Mar 09, 2018 22:35 IST
Chandika Hathurusingha,Rumesh Ratnayake,Sri Lanka cricket team
Chandika Hathurusingha took charge as head coach of the Sri Lanka cricket team in December last year.(Getty Images)

Sri Lanka fast bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayake has credited head coach Chandika Hathurusingha with bringing about a positive mindset in the team since taking charge in December.

Ratnayake, a former Sri Lanka fast bowler, was speaking at a press conference, ahead of Saturday’s game against Bangladesh.

Cricket Sri Lanka got Hathurasingha to resign as Bangladesh coach in a desperate bid to arrest the team’s slide, and the players have responded.

“Talent was aplenty in our team,” said Ratnayake. “I think Hathurusingha has changed their mindset by letting the boys do things on their own. Even if you fail, he will say ‘well, that was good enough, let’s try again next time’. He will tell a player to go and play some shots, but if he gets out you can’t ask him ‘why did you play that shot?’ So, he’s a man of his word. And we have given the players that confidence,” Ratnayake said.

Sri Lanka endured a disastrous 2017 across all formats, losing seven out of 12 T20s, 23 out of 29 ODIs and seven out of 13 Tests. Following yet another thrashing in the series in India in December 2017, Sri Lanka appointed Hathurusingha as coach and the team saw a revival, winning the tri-series in Bangladesh and securing wins in the Test and T20 series as well.

‘15 runs too many’

In the opening game against India, Sri Lanka conceded 174 runs but won by five wickets thanks to Kusal Perera’s 66 off 37 balls. It broke their seven-game losing streak against India. Ahead of the clash against Bangladesh, Ratnayake said bowling was an area of focus for the team.

“I thought we gave 15 runs too many (against India). We scrutinised that and have also looked at instances when an Indian (bowler) went off for a big over, how well they come back as bowlers. Even though we won, there are still some things we need to learn.”

Asked whether Sri Lanka could take Bangladesh lightly after their recent success, Ratnayake said: “They are a team which has beaten all teams in Bangladesh. They beat us in Sri Lanka. They are a strong team which has several guys with potential to do extremely well.”

First Published: Mar 09, 2018 22:01 IST