Champions Trophy 2013 May 30, 2013

Chandimal used break to work on weaknesses


Sri Lanka vice-captain Dinesh Chandimal said an extended break from international cricket and the recent practice tournament in Pallekele had put him in good shape to succeed at the Champions Trophy in England and Wales. Chandimal led the Rest of Sri Lanka side to victory in the 10-day List A tri-series, which primarily sought to prepare the Sri Lanka side for the Champions Trophy. Only six members of the squad traveling to England took part in the tri-series, however, with the rest having been in India for the IPL.

"The domestic tournament was a great way to train for the Champions Trophy because we played in Kandy and the tracks had a lot of seam movement and bounce," he said. "As batsmen, that has helped us adjust mentally for England and we've kept English conditions in mind when we have been training as well, so we hope to do well."

Chandimal turned down an informal approach from an IPL franchise in April, opting instead to undertake an intensive training programme in Sri Lanka during that time. That decision was largely driven by the prospect of having increased access to the national coaching staff with most of his team-mates out of the country, as well as the likelihood that he may not have played many matches in the IPL. His training in Sri Lanka largely concentrated on improving his limited overs batting, which had not been among his strengths in the last year.

"I had a few weaknesses in my technique, and I was lucky to have this month-and-a-half to correct those shortcomings." he said. "I worked on each of those things with Marvan Attapattu and at the moment I feel as if I'm in a good rhythm. Hopefully that work will show in England."

Chandimal's last tour of England brought his second ODI hundred - at Lords - and so far in his limited-overs international career, he has also tended to bat better outside the subcontinent than within it. Despite his work with the coaches, he does not go into the tournament in his best form, having averaged only 26.60 in the List A tournament.

"I guess you try to bat well wherever you play, but I have done well in England, so I'm hoping to repeat that," he said. "The key is to know how to make runs even when you haven't been batting well. You have to figure out how to succeed again, and do it quickly."

Sri Lanka have not played an international since the Bangladesh tour finished on March 31, but they will look to finalise combinations and acclimatise in the three warm-up encounters they play before the tournament. Chandimal said the experience of that 2011 tour and previous trips to England would make adjusting to the climate and conditions a deal more straightforward.

"It's the first cricket we're playing together after a while, but I think we are all positive." he said. "If you look at our squad, we have experience, but even the younger players have played in England, so we are ready for it. We're playing outside the subcontinent so it will be a challenge, but we do have bowlers who can take advantage of the situations we will encounter." he said. "As long as we play to our potential, we have the team to win the tournament."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on June 2, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    Some observations. Chandimal is yet to master the acceleration in the last 15 overs, so bat in him in the first 5. Hope I am wrong here. The death bowlers should be Malinga, Thisara. Eranga can bowl the overs just before but we need to bowl out Kula early in his current bowling form. Jeevan Mendis and Dilhara did not give any push to their place in the team. Rangana and Sachithra are the spinning options.I think it is time Chandimal keeps in the the one dayers as well, we need young legs to keep the opposition on their toes.

  • Thilanka on June 1, 2013, 8:24 GMT

    1.Dilshan 2.Kusal Perera 3.Sangakkara† 4.Jayawardene 5.Mathews* 6.Chandimal 7.Mendis 8.Perera 9.Kulasekara 10.Senanayake 11.Malinga

    9 Bats 7 ball ( what a team & team for watch out )

  • associate cricket fan on June 1, 2013, 2:58 GMT

    My team. 1.kushal 2.Dilshan 3.sanga 4. Chandimal 5.Mahela 6. Mathews 7.thissara 8. Dilhara or Eranga 9. Kula 10 . sachithra 11. Malinga. Please dont include Jeevan mendis in the playing xi as he is not suitable in these kind of wickets. Its a waste of a spot to include him. I prefer to have Eranga in the team when we play with the Aussies. They struggle a lot against swing bowling. So its worth to open the bowling with Kula and Eranga against Aussies. I feel sorry for Thirimanne. He doesnt find a place in the playing xi due to the presence of our seniors. I guess its time for Sanga to give up the ODI format and start focussing on test cricket. Thirimanne is the ideal player for No 3 spot ODIs.

  • Dummy4 on June 1, 2013, 2:48 GMT

    Sri Lanka is one of the best sides of the sub continent. Atleast their batsmen can perform on all surfaces. Feilding is a big plus point. I see them going far in the tournament. one of the teams for Semi Finals for sure, along with SA, AUS and NZ or ENG.

  • Prashan on June 1, 2013, 2:18 GMT

    @gnanzcupid, as usual your famous anti Lankan hateful rhetoric and no surprise. We have done well in ICC tournaments so I can see your pure jealousy.

  • Dummy4 on May 31, 2013, 21:28 GMT

    There should be a place to Dilhara & Dili should open with Kusal & sanga @#3. #4 shuld be Chandi, #5 Mahela,#6 mathews,#7 Dilhara, #8 Thisara, #9 Kulasekara,#10 Malinga, & #10(depends on the pitch)Eranga/Herath. But there is a strong chance for sachithra ahead of Herath in this English pitches with his height. I am not hesitate to prescribe Thirimanna in a failure of Mahela. But I guess we will miss the lights of Upul Tharanga even in middle order. Anyway, comapring to Indian squad, we have the best squad & hopefully there will be anothe final in England between Aus & Lankan Lions. But this time, we are in fast tracks as well as Aus, so more bids are for Lankan Lions.

  • radika on May 31, 2013, 16:13 GMT

    i dont know how u guys thinking but for me is we have some strenght to win this icc champs trophy.chandi,thiri is really very good batsmens and they can adjust to the situation quickly so i like to see that they both are batting.bcz our bowling is really good attaking one.while batting are lil bit strugle so we need to ad more batsmen coz the also other teams are good bowling attak nz and eng we have enough batting power to face there attak..and to change players is depend the condition and the teams.. so my team is 1.dilshan2.kusal3.sanga4.chandi5.mahela6.thiri7.mathews8.jeewan9.thisara10.nuwan11.mali they all can bat and the reason i left rangana is the eng pithes is more friendly with seamers and othe thing is in this squad we have two spiners one leggy is jeewan and offspienr is dilshan and we have and we have 4 best seam bowlers mathe.thisara.nuwan.mali and 8 deason batsmen and one big hitter and othe two is kula and mali can hit bigs as well so wish you all the best.

  • gnanavelu on May 31, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    Lanka wont go beyond round 1. I forsee their fans claiming this failure as ' one of the rare failures'

  • ADARSH on May 31, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    My 11 for SL is 1) Dilshan 2)Jayawardene 3)Sangakkara 4)Chandimal 5)Angelo Mathews 6)Thisara Perera 7)Kushal Perera 8) Jeevan Mendis 9)Malinga 10)Kulasekhara 11)Herath.

    Thisara, Kushal and Jeevan shd play down the order inorder to get the momentum of score as they are power hitters. Mathews, T.Perera, Malinga and Kula cn bowl swing bowls.

    Jeevan and Herath are spin bowlers.

    Team is filled with Mahela,Sanga and Dilshan which cn inspire other plaayers in the team and to have stability.

  • Asanka Sharmal on May 31, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    What is the point of this article and the timing ? Just to remind the rest of the team that they might fail because they chose the IPL...........