Sri Lankan stand-in ODI captain Upul Tharanga has promised an improved effort during the four-match One-Day International series against Bangladesh, which will start from Today at Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium.
The skipper said that the Islanders had four training sessions and in all those four sessions after the two-match Test series, who won by Bangladesh last week. He also said that his team would not want to repeat their fielding mistakes in the ODI series against the same side, which mistakes cost them Bangladesh Test series as they ‘are doing quite okay in practices’.
According to the reports of CricBuzz, Tharanga stated ahead of first ODI, “After the Test series, we had four training sessions and in all those four sessions, we dedicated a lot of time for fielding. I think we are doing quite okay in practices when it comes to fielding, but out in the middle, we fail to concentrate. That's the biggest drawback. I don't think we have fielded well in the last two series. We tried to give players some enjoyment by making fielding drills competitive. We are determined to raise our standards.”
Tharanga said that the ODI series against Bangladesh is an opportunity for them to bounce back after they were whitewashed 5-0 in their last ODI series by South Africa. He also promised improvement in the home series against Bangladesh. The skipper further said, “We were bitterly disappointed to lose the last Test match. This is a new series and it's a good opportunity for us to come back strongly. In our last series, we were beaten by South Africa 5-0. This is an opportunity for us to bounce back.”
Currently, Sri Lanka needs to keep an eye on the rankings because if they were to lose the series 3-0, they will slip behind Bangladesh to number seven in ODI Rankings as well if they slip below number eight before 30th September 2017, which would mean that there will be not eligible for the direct qualification to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
The skipper stated, “All three formats if you take, we are ranked low. So there is an urge to improve on our rankings. If you take about two years ago, we were among the top three in rankings and as a team, we are aware of raising our standards and improving our rankings.”
Tharanga further added, “This is the last series ahead of ICC Champions Trophy as well. In South Africa too we were disappointing. The Champions Trophy is important for us. We need to gain confidence before that and everyone is looking forward.”
He is happy with the return of the all-rounder Thisara Perera in the ODI squad. Tharanga added about Parera, “I am very pleased to have him back in the squad. He is one guy who can change a game very quickly. He wasn't up to his best in the last few months, but we are all aware what he is capable of doing. He has done well for Sri Lanka 'A' and as captain, I am glad to have him back in the squad.”
Tharanga said that Sri Lanka will miss the services of regular captain Angelo Mathews and fast bowler Lasith Malinga as Mathews is still recovering from a hamstring injury while Malinga still hasn't been declared fit to play 50-overs cricket, since suffering a knee injury last year.
He concluded, “They are two of our senior most players. We are going to miss them no doubt, but it's an opportunity for some of the other guys in the squad to perform.”