Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas seeks free hand after embarrassing loss to India
India won the first ODI in Dambulla by nine wickets, thanks a brilliant 197-run unbeaten stand between Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli.india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Aug 21, 2017 09:52 IST
An anguished Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas blamed the presence of too many brains in the think-tank as one of the reasons for Sri Lanka’s failure.
“You can’t fault anyone within that changing room. Yes, we didn’t play our best cricket today. That’s pretty obvious. You do get angry. To say ‘too many cooks’ is probably accurate,” said Pothas.
The Sri Lanka team bus was sent off from the Dambulla International Stadium by booing fans after the abject surrender against India.
“Emotionally you get angry. You get hurt,” fumed the South African, who took over as fielding coach last August and is the interim head coach.
There have been reports of two power centres emerging in the Sri Lanka dressing room after the 1996 World Cup hero, Asanka Gurusinha, was appointed manager.
Pothas said there can be improvement only if the squad was given time to develop and criticised constant changes made to the team.
“When you get consistency within a team, you will see improvements in performance. When we’re getting new players every game, it gets very difficult from a confidence point of view. From the player’s point of view, it’s very difficult. It’s difficult for us the coaching staff to create a strategy.
Faced with a series of questions over the team’s decline this year – they lost a home ODI series against Zimbabwe before India blanked them 3-0 in the Test series – Pothas said he can turn things around if given a free hand and six months.
“For me, if we were left alone and you could work with this group of players, you could get some stability and consistency over a period of six months. You’d see massive improvements. These are seriously gifted players. They are very, very gifted players,” he said.
The selection panel headed by Sanath Jayasuriya has been blamed for the omission of Dinesh Chandimal from the ODI squad. The right-hander is the best Sri Lanka batsman at present.