Karunaratne Exudes Confidence On The Sri Lanka's Short Ball Preparation > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Karunaratne exudes confidence on Sri Lanka's short-ball preparation

Sri Lanka have improved after struggling in Australia.

Sri Lanka suffered at the hands of Australia on their previous tour down under and a similar treatment awaited them when they travelled to the rainbow nation - South Africa. But a top notch innings from Kusal Perera snatched victory for the visitors from the jaws of defeat. A larger test awaits them now and their skipper Dimuth Karunaratne is ready to face the backlash from the hosts.

He minced no words and spoke on Wednesday (February 20) about the training they undertook before the Test series that helped them fare better than their previous series in Australia.

It was the short stuff that had them intimidated in the Tests in Australia and it was the case again in the first Test at Durban. But this time, the Sri Lankans were better prepared for it is what the skipper reckoned and that showed in the results.

"Some of us can hit the bouncers really well; some of us can't. So if you can't, don't think twice - just leave it. It's that's simple," Karunaratne said. "The boys are practicing really hard in the nets. The coaching staff knew what kind of bowling attack we will face here, so the preparation was really good in those seven days before the Durban Test. That's the main reason the boys did really well there."

The left-hander also put it to the fact that the wickets in Australia were quicker and the wickets at Kingsmead and St. George's Park are as not as pacer conducive as the wickets down under. He also stressed that learnings from the failures helped the team recover and stage a comeback.

"If we see the Australian tour, they bowled a lot of bouncers, and when they saw we were uncomfortable, they kept doing it," he noted. "Here, we played the bouncer more comfortably, so they don't want to bowl the bouncer so much. They want to bowl good areas to get wickets.

"We had a tough two games in Australia on fast and bouncy wickets. We consistently got pitches where bowlers were bowling 150kph. But I told my teammates that here it's much easier than in Australia. You have to get better, from that experience. You have to keep your head clear and play positively. I think we saw that in the last game."

The Sri Lankan skipper also was pleased to be playing at Port Elizabeth rather than the Wanderers which has a reputation of being a little hostile for the visiting batsmen. "This Port Elizabeth pitch is a pretty good wicket compared to the others, like Johannesburg, which is a fast and bouncy. We have a good batting wicket here."

After being on a losing spree, Sri Lanka finally managed to eke out a win and that also eased a lot of pressure off the players and their coach Chandika Hathurusingha. The skipper backed his coach and believes that it is a symbiotic relationship between the coach and the players and that is what has helped the team. This comes at a time when there were rumours that the coach might have to go after a horrendous tour to Australia.

"We have to support each other," Karunaratne pointed out. "The coach also did a really good job. All the time, he's trying to give something to the players. That's why the players also want to give something back as well."

He signed off saying communication is vital in a team scenario and it will help the team to perform better. "As a captain I like to see everyone in the dressing room helping each other to get better and better. We have to support the coach as well, and the coach has to realise what our gameplan is. That communication will be really good for Sri Lankan cricket."

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