Not scared by Virat Kohli’s men, says Sri Lanka cricket coach Nic Pothas

Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team had whitewashed Sri Lanka in all formats - three Tests, five ODIs and one-off T20 -- when they toured the Island nation in July-September. Nic Pothas, Sri Lanka coach, though is confident his side will give a tough fight to India this time around.

cricket Updated: Nov 09, 2017 19:14 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Kolkata
India vs Sri Lanka,Nic Pothas,Virat Kohli
Sri Lanka head coach Nic Pothas attends an arrival press conference prior to their cricket series against India. Sri Lanka will play a warm-up game, three Tests, three ODIs and as many T20s against Virat Kohli’s men, starting November 11. (AP)

Sri Lanka head coach Nic Pothas says the debacle against India taught them a few lessons and they will not be awestruck by the fancied hosts since they are a much better team now, united by a culture and discipline.

India had whitewashed Sri Lanka in all formats - three Tests, five ODIs and one T20I -- when they toured the Island nation in July-September.

(Read | Sri Lanka cricket team arrives in Kolkata ahead of first Test against India)

“Thanks for reminding us now (the defeats). It’s always a pleasure to come here and challenge ourselves against a very very good team,” the South African said.

After their forgettable India tour, Sri Lanka showed character to bounce back and beat Pakistan 2-0 in UAE in the Test series.

“We learnt how Indian team does well and the areas we needed to improve.”

(Read | Yuvraj Singh training hard at NCA with eye on No 4 slot in Indian cricket team)

Asked what changed in such a short span of two months, he said: “It’s internal -- the discipline, the culture and how the teams stick together. When we took on India, we were all pretty new from the support staff and the players involved.”

Stressing the need to focus on their strengths, Pothas urged his players not to get enamoured by India.

(Read | Virat Kohli, cricket’s Richie Rich makes a killing on social media – Here’s how)

“We focus on ourselves. The mistake you can make here is come and be infatuated with the Indian side and concentrating too much on them. We know they are a good side. But we played them months ago.

“We are concentrating on our strengths and jobs. If we execute them well, it will be a challenging series. Not many teams have come here and won. Sometimes you can get hung up on weaknesses. We go the other way and focus on what we do well.”

They managed to humble Pakistan in the UAE and the coach said the conditions coupled with Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan’s absence made their job easier.

“It was a completely different series against Pakistan. We were there in 41 degrees heat and they had lost two legends. That probably made a little bit easier for us.”

First Published: Nov 09, 2017 17:20 IST