SL coach criticises top order's mental approach
Duleep Mendis has criticised the mental approach of his top order on the eve of Sri Lanka's tri-series match against New Zealand on Tuesday.Updated: May 12, 2003 16:30 IST
Sri Lanka coach Duleep Mendis has criticised the mental approach of his top order on the eve of Sri Lanka's tri-series match against New Zealand on Tuesday.
Sri Lanka were dismissed for 120 by Pakistan on a seaming pitch over the weekend and Mendis believes his batsmen are making too many excuses for their recurrent failures.
"In the first match we knew it was going to seam and they should have adjusted to it and performed," said the former Sri Lanka captain. "They have played a lot of one-matches and as professional one-day international cricketers there should be no excuses.
"It is time for the top order to take full responsibility for putting up a good score."
Mendis took over from Dav Whatmore after the Sharjah Cup, although he worked with the team as a full-time advisor during the previous six months.
He said he believed that Sri Lanka had the necessary batting talent to be successful in all conditions but added they had to work on their mental approach.
"The talent is there but they have got to sort it out in their heads," he said. "When you are in the middle it's a mental game and they must have a proper strategy."
Marvan Atapattu, Sri Lanka's new one-day captain, agreed with his coach, saying his batsmen lacked commitment.
He also wants the tail to contribute and during the final net practice Muttiah Muralitharan and Prabath Nissanka, the number 10 and 11 respectively, batted first.
Sri Lanka are considering two changes ahead of the New Zealand match. The Kiwis crushed Pakistan by seven wickets on Sunday.
Left-hander Russel Arnold, who scratched around for his 13 runs from 49 balls, is expected to stand down for middle order batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan
"We might also look at bringing in an all rounder who can bat better than someone who is already there," Atapattu said.
Sanath Jayasuriya, who is suffering from a severe bout of tonsillitis, is expected to play after training lightly on Monday morning.
New Zealand are set to make one change, including Kyle Mills or Andre Adams in place of injured fast bowler Shane Bond.
Bond has suffered a back strain, which will be scanned when the team returns to Colombo on Wednesday.
First Published: May 12, 2003 16:30 IST