Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 13th 2013 Contents A66
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, June 13, 2013
CARDIFF---Marvan Atapattu, Sri Lanka s batting
coach, is confident the team would put behind their
dismal batting performance against New Zealand
in Cardiff and bounce back in the remaining two
Champions Trophy group matches against England
today and Australia.
"True, we had a bad batting innings the other day,"
Atapattu said. "The spirit was high and the boys
were fighting, and we almost got through. But unfor-
tunately, it didn t happen for more than one reason.
"Within the team, everyone wants to win. It s
about experience. Given the reputation of some of
these guys, they want to win these two games badly.
Nobody would like those reputations to be tarnished
playing in England, especially."
Sri Lanka meet England at the Oval on June 13
and Australia at the same venue on June 17. They
need to win both games to have a chance of qualifying
for the semi-finals.
Against New Zealand in Cardiff last Sunday, Sri
Lanka s batting collapsed for 138 and they lost by a
narrow one-wicket margin. Atapattu, a former captain
and top-order batsman, summed up the team s batting
performance by saying that the batsmen needed to
bring their experience into play in such situations.
"We have the experience, but putting that to work
is something. We have spoken about it. [From] time
to time, it will happen. Hopefully we will read sit-
uations better and think 50-over cricket and bat 300
balls of the innings.
"Looking at the total we got, it wasn t satisfactory.
We could have read the situation from the middle.
We could have adjusted to settling down to a much
lesser target, when you are looking at 230-240 at
the fall of the second wicket. Then, the way the
wicket behaved and the way we approached it, things
went wrong for us."
He regretted the fact that Sri Lanka did not play
out their full quota of 50 overs. Atapattu also said
that the team had played seven batsmen against New
Zealand so that they could set a suitable target but
the batting order did not add substantial partner-
"That s really disappointing---not batting 50 overs.
It s mandatory we use the full quota of 300 balls.
Not to have used it is something that we really regret
as a group," Atapattu said. "We don t want to go
back to the bowlers and expect them to do something.
It s up to the batsmen to take on the responsibility
and not expect something from the tail. Everybody
has been given a role. Our batsmen will not
get a flying start every day. But by playing
seven batsmen, we have the cushioning of
one extra batsman to get to the target we
wanted. We needed to have two partnerships
going to get to the total we required."
According to Atapattu, the key to suc-
ceeding in English conditions was all about
spending time in the middle. "It s all about
spending a little more time to get into a
rhythm. As you go along and as you get a
rhythm scoring runs will be a lot easier," he
said. "The basic principle of one-day cricket
is that you get your best batsmen to bat
early in the innings so that you give them
ample time and face more balls. But in dif-
ferent conditions, against different oppo-
sitions, those options could vary and there
are times when you need to be flexible. We
are open to it. It is not something where
we say, No, this is our batting order. "
Given that context, he said the team had
considered pushing some of the younger
batsmen up the order but had decided on
sticking to a settled batting line-up for this
tournament. "It s something that we have
spoken about, but that s something that we
decided to stick with for this tournament
and we don t want that to be a disturbing
factor. We would like to see them batting
at their positions and doing their best. If
they come up trumps the other side of the
coin is that the team will do well," he said.
He also admitted that the youngsters in
the side needed to be pushed to perform,
and it was the job of the coaches and senior
players to instill a sense of professionalism
"I reckon we, as coaches, become facil-
itators in front of senior players, and, in the
meantime, be pushy with some of these
youngsters," Atapattu said.
Atapattu expects Sri Lanka to bounce back
Marvan Atapattu, right, Sri Lanka coach, believes Sri
Lanka's batsmen can shrug off their defeat to New
Zealand and perform against England today.
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