Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur, on Thursday (May 27), said that the ‘door hasn’t yet closed’ on senior players and they can make a comeback into the ODI side.
The visitors had left out several seasoned campaigners for the three-match ODI series against Bangladesh. However, Sri Lanka suffered back-to-back losses to slip to another ODI series defeat.
”Dropping is a harsh word. We have looked at a way we can go forward without them (the seniors). There’s no dropping. The guys can come back at any given time,” Arthur told reporters at the BCB academy premises.
”We have lacked a little bit through the middle, but we have some senior players. Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis have played a lot. Dickwella and Dhananjaya de Silva have played a fair amount. Those are the guys we are banking on to become those players. The doors are not closed on anybody. Certainly some senior players can come back at any given time depending on performances,” he added.
Arthur also praised the efforts of Wanindu Hasaranga, and observed that the think-tank is looking towards to the future, especially the 2023 50-over World Cup. Incidentally, the all-rounder cracked an impressive fifty under pressure in the first ODI.
”Hasaranga is a very good cricketer. We have to understand that this is a very young team. They will develop. We have started a journey with them and we want them to develop. It goes for a guy like Hasaranga as well. He is only learning the game now, but he is a very exciting talent.
”We are trying to create depth within our side. Everybody puts pressure on each other, so that they can become the best that they can possibly be. This is a young team which we are building up to 2023. We can back them, but we need something back to show that we are on the right track to take them forward.
Arthur also hoped that the batsmen can play with more freedom. In both the games, the visiting side’s batsmen struggled to come to terms with the slow nature of the tracks. In particular, in the second ODI, Sri Lanka’s batters found it difficult to force the pace and ended up with a below par score of 141 for 9 in 40 overs.
”We battled to come to terms with the spinners, which is very surprising for me. The batsmen I see out in the nets are totally different to the batsmen who have gone out in the middle. Whether it is performing under pressure or fear of failure – those are the things you have to take out of your mind. They are all very skilled batsmen, particularly against spin. They haven’t shown that yet, but I am looking for a really good performance tomorrow.
“There are no dead rubbers with the World ODI Championship and qualification for the 2023 World Cup. Every ODI is worth 10 points. We want to close off here with a good, hard, disciplined performance tomorrow. We want to take a win home,” he noted.