We have the know how to deliver – Joe Root
By Srian Obeyesekere
England’s tour of Sri Lanka has aroused the hype given the nature of the opposition Sri Lanka would face up to where Joe Root’s exuberant No.1 team in world cricket has begun to generate a tremendous home spectator anticipation and expectations of rib bruising cricket from Dimuth Karunaratne’s charges to come good. In that vein it was warming to hear Sri Lanka’s South African born coach, who has begun to get the feel of the Sri Lankan juggernaut, voice along that ‘we are quite confident of dishing our brand of fast paced cricket. For that you need to find the right players to play that brand and we do have the right composition in a mix of players from new young players and the experienced.
The focus is on training to play our brand of cricket.” Mick Arthur’s sentiments were as much echoed by the Lankan captain when he said, “The players are in the right mind set mentally well conditioned to face the English mainly following a successful tour of South Africa. England are a good side. Last time when they were here we lost and we are aware that they are a side that plays well on our wickets.”
He said that since the last tour one and a half years ago that had seen the back of veteran spinner Rangana Herath and the wicket taking Akila Dananjaya, Sri Lanka was nevertheless pinning faith on the available resources mounted by Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan and young find Lasith Embuldeniya to draw from. “We have been preparing well under coach Mick Arthur as best as we can and analyzing the England team for the job ahead,” Karunaratne voiced.
He aired the significant point on team building saying, “As any team we are focusing on developing players in the right self belief and mind set to create a new generation team. If it does not work, we then have to look for other options.”
The Lankan skipper was speaking on the heels of his England counterpart Joe Root, who while expressing his team’s liking of Sri Lankan conditions to their suitability, said, “It is good to be the No.1 test team in the world and we are here to play good cricket following our fine 3-nil series triumph when we last toured Sri Lanka. Last time we came here the conditions were somewhat different because it was at a different time and we had different guys. We do have a fine mix including several promising young players capable of delivering and it is important that we stay focused and get the measure of the opposition.
We do have the knowledge and the know how.” Both skippers said they were unfazed by the raging corona virus threat stating that they had taken all the right precautions and that they were simply focused on nothing other than the cricket ahead.
The Engalnd skipper and Head Coach Chris Silverwood and the team were given a warm welcome by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Secretary Mohan de Silva at the media confab yesterday at the Shangri la Hotel. “England have been playing excellent cricket having also emerged the ICC World Cup champions. We expect exciting cricket and Sri Lanka are quite confident following the ODI success against the West Indies and look forward positively to the series at hand.”
Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka team clothing sponsor Moose Clothing Company’s Executive Director, Hasib Omar said, “As a sponsor company we are really excited. We are a clothing company keyed on developing the industry to be marketable to make a name outside Sri Lanka. While wishing both teams well, I wish for a Sri Lankan victory.”
SRI LANA SQUAD:
Dimuth Karunaratne – Captain, Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Janith Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Dilruwan Perera, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lakshan Sandakan, Wanindu Hasaranga ( Injured, replacement to be announced)
Joe Root – Captain, Ben Stokes, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Butler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Ben Foakes, Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Chris Woakes.
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-