Australia v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Adelaide January 12, 2013

Ford expects better in Adelaide


Sri Lanka's coach Graham Ford has criticised his team for sloppiness in the field and between the wickets during their opening ODI loss to Australia, stressing that both departments must improve if the visitors are to achieve parity in the series with a victory in Adelaide on Sunday.

Facing an Australian side lacking numerous luminaries, including the captain Michael Clarke and the opening batsman David Warner, Sri Lanka allowed the hosts to post a muscular 5 for 305 before tossing away their chance at getting near to the target by surrendering three wickets to run outs. Ford was concerned by both the issues between the wickets and a lack of consistent pressure with the ball.

"We know we're a better side than that in the field," Ford said before the team's departure from Melbourne. "We dished up some fairly easy boundary balls which released pressure for the batters. The game plan is to try to build pressure and when you're releasing it every couple of overs it puts up on the back foot.

"The new field-place restrictions, we found that a little bit hard and maybe the fielders didn't support the bowlers as well as they could have. The problem is we did just give away too many easy boundary balls."

Both Australia and Sri Lanka had been bedevilled by run outs during the recent Test series and the pattern was maintained at the MCG, though the hosts' loss of Usman Khawaja proved far less ruinous than the trio - Tillakaratne Dilshan, Angelo Mathews and Lahiru Thirmanne - lost by the tourists during their chase.

"There's been a bit of discussion. There was some good fielding which contributed to some of them," Ford said. "When you're chasing a score like that, you just can't have the guts of your batting taken out through run outs. The pleasing thing is that quite a number of our batsmen look in good form and played really nicely but to give away three wickets to run outs makes the job almost impossible."

Eyebrows were raised at the indifferent showing of Lasith Malinga and Ajantha Mendis in Melbourne, after both had been considered major inclusions to the Sri Lankan limited overs XI following the Tests. Ford expressed hope that neither would lose confidence as a result, suggesting both would be better for the run in Adelaide.

"As far as their confidence goes, I certainly hope not," Ford said. "They all showed at times how classy they are as bowlers but one or two overs got away from them which made their figures look a little bit nasty.

"We always knew we were up against some high-class one-day cricketers. You just can't afford to be off your game at all against players of that calibre. I don't think anything's changed. I don't think there's any sort of intimidation. We know we're up against a good team.

"You want to get on the scoresheet. We want to get out and play some good cricket and show that we're a good team. The next game is really, really important."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ttn on January 13, 2013, 1:47 GMT

    @gsingh7 worry about your india losing agaist pak,eng in their own backyard.SL would came back and give aus a severe trashing

  • gurinder on January 12, 2013, 21:55 GMT

    another whitewash on cards, hope aus play better than first odi and make massive total , want warner firing all cylinders, sl have very weak bowling which cannot win matches in aus or india

  • Chamee on January 12, 2013, 20:59 GMT

    After having too many overnight parties with expats they become sloppy in the field.Only team to paty after a whitewash.

  • Sage on January 12, 2013, 20:44 GMT

    I think Sri Lankan cricketers have let the whole nation down by losing the T20 WC in Colombo in front of a massive Sri Lankan crowd. Now they are doing it in Aussie land and in Melbourne. I totally agree with ca2ca's comments here. The whole nation and the supporters from all over knows Mahela, and the senior players are out of form but they still play them. I'm so happy to have read that everything will change in February and there will be different teams for all formats in SL. Mahela should drop himself and get someone else to captain the side. His captaincy is very questionable. Just giving that single and continuing to do so in ODI. His field set up is not challenging at all. What experience does Bailey have? Very limited but still become the victor. Unfortunately Mathews is not good enough to be the captain. Playing 86 games and still does not have a century not even 5 wickets haul. Malinga should be dropped totally. Aussie bowlers are accurate and bowl according to a plan.

  • Ravindra on January 12, 2013, 18:39 GMT

    Mahela and co...what was missing was your controlled aggresstion.... what I mean is you need to be attacking and proactive (not defensive and reactive).... that's how you win with Aussis..... you guys have absolute talent and the Sri Lankan grit.... "fight fire with fire" you got to make thing happen and not wait it to happens.... want to see you guys talking more...encourraging each other more....! Wish you and team success....! Ravi k

  • ttn on January 12, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    iyou need bowlers who can bowl very economically and strangle the batsman with pressure. at the present all their bowlers are wicket takers. mahela should have a presence of mind to attack the batsman.when all your bowlers are aggresive and you put defensive fields i don't see how goin to get em out.herath might be useful 2.SL Didn't attack the part-timers at all doherty,hussey all are nothing bowlers because sl face plenty of quality spin in home conditions.even mckay can be considered as a fast spinner.3. i believe tharanga should move to no.6 where he can face the old ball. considering AUS ballers are no good reverse swingers or spinners he might find it work for him

  • Dummy4 on January 12, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    3- nil white wash. This has always been the case when touring Australia or South Africa for Test series. I do not believe the result will be any different next time around. Sri Lanka coach (Ford) makes efforts to paint a positive picture of the 3 nil drubbing it receives at the hand of Australia. Its no point explaining about what we could have done after a series was white washed.

    Administrators got to take the blame for the mess they have created. Sri Lanka cricket remains poor and unprofessional, tarnished by lack of vision and bureaucratic wrangling Hats off for the young lads for their fighting spirit against all odds and never say die attitude.

  • Uwe on January 12, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    No matter how good Chandimal, Tirimanne and the new operner Karunarathne plays ( also on fast tracks), once the seniors (Sanga,PJ, Thilan etc) are healed, selectors, coach and the captain (still Mahela) will select tthem over the new players. Its a backward attitude. Do not they see Sanga, Mahela & Thilan are out of form ??

  • Uwe on January 12, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    Eyebrows always widen about Malinga. He is top wicket taker in IPL and BB League. But when plays for SL he get hammered. Mahela and the coach should know by now that Kulasekara is not made for fast tracks. Tharanga (160 ODI caps)and Mahela with (362 ODI caps) still play those cut shots towards slips. How often we saw Mahela plays shot last test series. And those runouts. Those are blunders one do not expect from Dilshan and Mattews. T20 attitude I would say. Team should know they are playing against Aussies and not India or Pakistan. Seniors (except Herath) have become too rich through IPL, there is no positive commiment to win. They dont care. And those JOKERS who run SLC are the best cooks for this mess.

  • Bandara on January 12, 2013, 12:13 GMT

    Mr.Ford I agree with you honestly. On top of some you mentioned, The field setting is rediculous, even a school team captain knows a better field setting format as well as bowling changes. Sorry Mahela But I have to emphasize on it and always need of thirdman and fine-leg when you use a pace bowler and the rule is only one run in those areas except a hit for a boundary too finer.I know you are a great slip fielder, but add another to make it three and do not waste the newball properly attacking stumps.Wish you guy every good luck in the following matches as we always come back later.

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