Sri Lanka in South Africa 2011-12 December 6, 2011

Marsh wants Sri Lanka to lift their game


Geoff Marsh, the new coach of Sri Lanka, has said he learned a lot on Sri Lanka's tour against Pakistan in the UAE and believes those lessons will stand his team in good stead on their tour of South Africa.

"We got ourselves into winning positions, but couldn't get to where we wanted to get," Marsh said on the eve of the team's departure to South Africa. "I learnt a lot on my first tour. Obviously a different culture than to coaching Australia and Zimbabwe.

"When you come back from a tour like Pakistan, I think everyone wants to make sure we are all on the same page. Captain [Tillakaratne] Dilshan and I get on very well. We work very closely together and we all can get better on this tour."

Sri Lanka have not won a Test since Muttiah Muralitharan retired in July 2010, and have lost their last three Test series by 1-0 margins to England, Australia and Pakistan. They also lost the ODI and Twenty20 series to Pakistan.

"I am hoping that the disappointment of the last few tours as a playing group we will enable to lift ourselves," Marsh said. "It's a challenge. We have got world class players and we need them to click. The younger players will need to play some big knocks against such an attack."

Marsh said his team could do well on their tour of South Africa if they can just put up enough runs on the board.

"It's a tough tour but I firmly believe that if we play well, we can do well," Marsh said on the eve of the team's departure to South Africa. "The key is scoring enough runs against that good attack. If you take Australia they were bowled out for 47 in the first Test and they got up from the dead and did well. It can be done.

"We have to lift ourselves obviously and some players need some runs. If we give the bowlers some runs then it will be an interesting battle."

Sri Lanka commence a three-Test series against South Africa at Centurion on December 15.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ILANKO on December 9, 2011, 17:35 GMT

    Gularan: Come one man, Marsh hasn't been in SL for more than 2 months, and you're calling him the walking devil and such? It's not the guy's fault that the SL team cannot muster enough patience to bat like a test match or pick 20 wickets. He's got to work with what he's given. I'm an SL fan, and am very realistic about where the team stands. There's just not enough application! We need to ensure that the guys are giving it all out there... Paranavitana is a decent test opener... if he sticks to his game, who knows he might make a hundred one of these days. Mahela needs to come good and Sanga has to continue the rich vein of form he's in. Bowling is another matter.... taking 20 wickets is going to be tough... but at least let's hope we show some fighting spirit.

  • Al on December 8, 2011, 17:05 GMT

    Right! Mr.Marsh... Now, YOU are the head coach and paid a fab salary for it too.. It's your job to show the SL team HOW to lift themselves and win. Its useless just blabbing about it...Show them!...Work out a strategy, find a way. You say the SL team has world class players so the rest is up to YOU!

  • sri on December 8, 2011, 13:02 GMT

    There comes a time in every country's cricketing history when poison in the form of a virulent coach is introduced into it in the guise of effecting progress. Greg Chappel was that devil for India and Marsh is the embodiment of satan or a walking talking capsule of cyanide for Sri Lanka. S.L cricket board should realise this pronto and change him even at the cost of paying off the remainder of his contract. How dare he talks about S.L lifting their game when he himself is the underlying cause, the know it all !!!

  • sri on December 8, 2011, 6:55 GMT

    I cannot believe what I'm hearing from Marsh. To begin with he is a non entity in cricket who has jumped on the coaching bandwagon to feather his nest unlike Moody who was dynamic and hands-on with the S.L cricketers. He probably got the job because of favourable words from Tony Greig to the Board. One can see what a lethargic and stoic character he is when the camera zooms in on the dressing room during matches- just sitting on an easy chair trying hard not to go to sleep. Moody in his day was always seen in earnest discussion with the team egging them on and talking tactics- jeez, what a non starter this guy Marsh is.When S.L goes to Australia in Jan 2012 the Aussies will be rolling in the aisles when they see Marsh Pretend-coaching S.L.Please god why do you take gems like Peter Roebuck and leave offal like Marsh to carry on ?

  • vigi on December 7, 2011, 20:05 GMT

    Geof Marsh is the only person in SL cricket, talking sense.His captain doesn't know how to talk and doesn't even accept his and his team's mistakes. FOR GOD SAKE, he doesn't even know that his team is in huge problems. The three past test and one day series have been disastrous. They've literally won nothing. Pakistan, ranked lower than SL manage to beat them. Even the Zimbabweans and West Indies played much better. Infact West indies drew the test series. SL are going to SA, knowing that they will get thrashed. If you there are any true SL fans in SA, please send them back home. They're just going to bring more embarassment to SL. Non of the players, apart from a few are convincing. Sanga is trying to hold SL's batting, but one man can not do the job. Welegedara is not bad, but again he's the only one. Even though Dilshan said that their salaries did not affect their game, you could see that the SL players were not commited. Sanga and Jaya play for their ownselves. NO ONE CAN SAVE SL!

  • Biju on December 7, 2011, 14:47 GMT

    All the best SL. Atleast draw a couple of tests. THat itself will be an acheivement. I hope Ajantha Mendis, Suraj emerges a star after this tour...What happened to these guys..COmpletely lost the bite ..Also would like to see Mahela talk with bat rather writing columns....

  • Sagar on December 7, 2011, 14:37 GMT

    been waiting for this series since 9 years now, sa went to srl twice, now its time to face the real music, anything less than a 3-0 seies win(unless weather plays spoilsport) will be considered as a series loss for sa, i know the batsmen will come good against lankan attack and regarding our bowling i have no probs, hopefully all the 3 matches will end o9n or before the 4th day to get a day rest in each forrever \,,/

  • sri on December 7, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    Marsh can talk all he wants to but the fact remains that he is the most inefficient and indifferent coach that Sri Lanka has had up to now. He just isn't cutting it like Moody used to do. It is just a waste of foreign exchange paying his salary. A mainstream Sri Lankan would be able to do better as Sri Lanka's coach. The approach to cricket has to change drastically if S.L aims to do well in S.A. The dependence on Sanga And Mahela has to be minimised by the others putting up their hands to be counted, and this can only be done by radical changes to the team morale brought about by instilling inthem the will to win like in Arjuna's days. It wouldn't be a bad idea to get Arjuna to manage the side onthe S.A tour. He will i'm sure bring this mediocre team back to scratch in no time. Take note powers that be in S.L

  • Eranga on December 7, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    I have seen a lot of coments about Malinga and Mathews laely. So I went back to see the comments on them n that historical match.

    I was looking for something like this.

    "What a selfish innings by Mathews. He made sri lanka win" "Look at this guy. He is playing for money. He is not thinking about the country. Maling is looking for money."

    Then I went to the match at Lords where there was a slow ending. I was looking for this.

    " Look at this guy batting. If he is the future of sl cricket I,m sorry about it."

    Couldn't find any thing like that.

    People please don't forget. these are the guys who got us to wc final earlier this year. They are going through a bad patch simmilar to 1998-1999. We have to watch with some patience. They will come back sooner rather than later. It takes only one series.

  • Shakti on December 7, 2011, 11:24 GMT

    If the rain stays away,Sri Lanka would be lucky to finish the 4th day of any of the tests.Their batsmen lack a good enough technique against fast bowling on proper pitches and lately they even struggle against good spin on amongst the flattest pitches in the world.Tailor made pitches in Sri Lanka offer turn for the Sri Lankan spinners,but none have been successful away from home.Chamind Vaas was good in the sub-continent but suffered away from it.I still don't know why Sri Lanka tours so little.

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