England v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Headingley June 30, 2011

Law hopes sun shines on Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka's outgoing coach, Stuart Law, has backed his team to bounce back from their 110-run defeat in the opening ODI at The Oval, and expects them to compete strongly in the remaining four matches of the five-match series.

Sri Lanka lost the series opener at The Oval on Tuesday in cold and clammy conditions that suited the England bowlers, in particular James Anderson. He claimed 4 for 18 including three wickets in his first three overs, as Sri Lanka stumbled to 15 for 4.

"We haven't lost that way in recent times. It's not the end of the world," said Law. "When you get walloped like that it gets a bit out of you. The boys had a chat about it and we are here to show tomorrow that we are not bad, and we deserve our ranking. We are the World Cup runners-up.

"The conditions really suited the seam bowlers of England the other night," he added. "We have got to combat that. Here, traditionally the wickets are seam-friendly and I think it looks pretty good to bat on [as well]."

However, Law admitted he had been disappointed with the manner in which Sri Lanka collapsed at The Oval. "You have a mental block regarding losing wickets at the start and all of a sudden it can be contagious. To be 15 for 4 on a very good batting wicket was well below par.

"The most disappointed that day was the dressing room. We are better than that and we are up for the challenge," said Law. "Even at 22 degrees the boys are still freezing cold. If you had been to Colombo, you can appreciate where they come from.

"It's a bit different when the sun doesn't come out a great deal. But when it comes, the change in the mood and the smile on the faces is good to see. If it's a nice and sunny day, I am sure the boys will enjoy the cricket."

Following the retirement of Sanath Jayasuriya and with Upul Tharanga serving a three-month ban for using a banned substance, Sri Lanka will bank on the vast experience of Mahela Jayawardene to open the innings in the rest of the five-match one-day series, with skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan.

"Mahela opened the innings in the Twenty20 game and he's going to take over that role again, a role he has done before and successfully. He's looking forward for it," said Law.

"At the moment we've got to win. You get judged on your performances. We would like to say that you have to get some youngsters in and groom them, but if you are not winning, [that can cause] problems.

"We see that we have to win the next game and Mahela, every time he has opened, has got a hundred or gone pretty close to it. So it's a straightforward choice," he said.

Jayasuriya's exit after just one match gives Sri Lanka the opportunity to test young Dinesh Chandimal as a middle-order batsman. "Chandimal will play his first international game on tour. He has done well for us in the past. He's got a hundred against India in Zimbabwe and he is an exciting young prospect. I am looking forward to watching him."

When questioned why he opted to move from Sri Lanka to Bangladesh, Law replied: "I am not allowed to answer those questions according to the team management. It's all about cricket tomorrow, thanks. If you read the papers you can gauge what's going on. If I could sit and talk, I will talk for hours and hours. But the management has instructed that we are only talking about the match tomorrow."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nishantha on July 2, 2011, 8:59 GMT

    I think SLC missed a trick here and its so sad to see Law leaving the SL team and only we can wish he was there to take this team a step forwerd but its all gone and I wish LAW the best of luck and success in his work in Banga.

  • Dummy4 on July 1, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    Sri Lanka is back on the track. SL 309/5.

  • Dummy4 on July 1, 2011, 13:47 GMT

    @lord,..what did u say,,,mahela and sanga cant handle anderson and co,,,,,biggest joke ever heard,,,best example anderson and co. coudnt even get 1 single wicket @world cup quarter final..opps hurts ha...and look at today,,,england coudnt take a wicket until 38 th over...@ england surface,,,sad.... dont be too smart to think sl team like ur team who can perform only in england...

  • victoria on July 1, 2011, 13:37 GMT

    It was good to see Mahela opening the innings to take full advantage of as many deliveries as possible. It was the same thing that Tendulkar did after 79 unsuccessful ODI matches and has been very successful. It is not because Sachin is in the slightest way any better a batsman than of these guys; but he is smarter than them: He looks for the smallest opportunities to make runs - it does not matter against whom as long as he makes them. Petersen needs to take a page from their book and theresults will come. Let the best player inthe team open the innings.

  • Shafraz on July 1, 2011, 13:34 GMT

    Lord emsworth - as far as the batting goes, whatever the outcome today i think Mahela & co. have more than proved Stuart Law right!!! Masterclass from Mahela!!!

  • MBD on July 1, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    It is EXACTLY 5 years today since SriLankans thrashed England 5-0. What will be the outcome today?

  • Dummy4 on July 1, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    Kandambi should be replaced with Thisara Perera.

  • Al on July 1, 2011, 5:40 GMT

    I'm not sure Mr.Law is been entirely honest here. The fact is that barring Dilshan who is fearless against any attack players like Mahela and Sangakarra just cant handle Andersson & co. The T20 win went against mediocre bowlers like Woakes, Patel, Rookie Dernbach, etc. Kandamby I'm afraid is a nonentity...a probable replacement being Thissara Perera but then again you never know with Perera, he can be brilliant one day and a terrible flop the next. good to see Saadi writing again.

  • Dummy4 on June 30, 2011, 22:58 GMT

    i'm sure mahela will take some positive out of this too. where does mahela not take positive from? n good match for sanath, its a proof he deserved to be dropped from the team. he is too old to play. give him a club team, he can play n score a 100 but not against england. sanath ur a legend but ur time to hang ur boots have expired 5 years back.

  • Chatty on June 30, 2011, 21:57 GMT

    Yes, indeed, SL cricket will miss you, Mr. Law. Thanks for your contribution. Lots of us wish you could stay, but we know how the system works. All the best!

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