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Ford wants consistency from Sri Lanka

Sa'adi Thawfeeq

July 22, 2013

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Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews talks to coach Graham Ford at a practice session in Colombo, Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, Colombo, March 15, 2013
Graham Ford: "Angelo Mathews has taken on the role of Sri Lankan captain really well and he leads by example" © AFP
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The lack of consistency in the Sri Lankan middle order has been a concern for some time and head coach Graham Ford believes it is one area they need to keep improving on to become a successful one-day side.

"There have been some good moments and we have beaten some really good teams but we are not quite consistent enough," Ford said. "Sometimes we haven't finished off our batting innings as well as we would have liked. That does come with experience as players get more time at this level. Something we've just got to keep working on."

Ford was confident that with time the younger players who are expected to fill the shoes of senior cricketers like Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara in the future will be up to the task.

"At this stage we are still in the phase of the younger guys developing and learning from the seniors and that's why it's crucial that we strike up a balance," he said. "Hopefully, as they continue playing around the seniors, it won't be long before they are performing equally as well."

Sri Lanka thrashed South Africa in the first ODI on Saturday by 180 runs after Sangakkara made a career best 169. Jayawardene and Upul Tharanga had also chipped in with 42 and 43 runs respectively.

Ford, who as South Africa's coach between 1999 and 2002 helped them secure eight out of 11 Test-series wins, said he is well aware of the threat the visitors would pose for Sri Lanka.

"I don't want to go public about my thoughts on South Africa but we are fully aware that they are a very powerful one-day unit," he said. "South African teams are much better at playing on foreign conditions nowadays than they were some ten years ago. We can expect a very tough series."

Ford was happy with the way Angelo Mathews has handled the side since his elevation to the captaincy in February. "He's been fantastic. He has taken on the role really well and he leads by example. It hasn't been easy, he's had some very tough cricket but he's handled it exceptionally well," he said.

Ford, who has been the Sri Lanka coach since January 2012, highlighted the team's fighting spirit as a particularly heartening aspect of their cricket.

"The team has gelled well and there's been some stability in the roles that they have been asked to perform," he said. "What's impressed me the most is the fighting spirit amongst the group. We try to be really proud of that and to make sure we are a group of fighters. That has shown on a number of occasions. When times have been tough the boys have stuck together."

Ford is contracted by Sri Lanka Cricket till the end of January 2014.

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by MelbourneMiracle on (July 23, 2013, 5:04 GMT)

Angelo is not the stereo-type captain we're used to as sub-continental fans. He's a street-smart guy and will surely build his game with the time. We all want a piece from him and we should realize that he's still young and not super human. If the things he has done for SL as youngster is not enough for us, we must be barbarians who will only be satisfied by eating the guy up. Let's be decent fans for the game-sake.

Posted by RyjuDilna on (July 23, 2013, 4:52 GMT)

oooo come on guys give a break , stop worrying about the future let the trio (Sanga , Mayya and Dili) have a go , for God sake its SA not Kenya to rest the the seniors , youngsters will step up when the time comes , nothing to worry about the batting we have the fire power its just a matter of seasoning them , my main concern is our bowling , we need some one who can touch 140 km with good control , Hope Vasi will discover some on time ....a small thought on Mubarak , clueless why he is in the team :-X

Posted by C0l0mb0 on (July 22, 2013, 21:28 GMT)

upul, Dilshan, Thiri, Chandi, Sanga, Mahela, A Perera, Thisara,Herath, Shaminda n Malinga.

thiri n chandi can hide behind sanga n mahela or can step up the order n prove something for themselves against weak SA attack. Its simple as that.

Posted by samirranjitkar on (July 22, 2013, 20:23 GMT)

Senior Srilankan players like Mahela and Sangakara should be rested for this home series and youngsters should be given chances. Srilanka may loose the series by this but this will definitely help to build up the team for future.

Posted by   on (July 22, 2013, 16:15 GMT)

thisara perera should played as bowling all rounder! he must improve his consistancy of bowling! he is giving away many boundries because of his unconsistance line and lengh! he can use at number 8 batsan to have slog at the end..Im really hope Serasinghe will get a chance if that happen we have 2 good spinners herath and him! that will give more variation of attack

Posted by yorkslanka on (July 22, 2013, 14:52 GMT)

Please force the seniors to rest and give our team a gradual transition to the 2015 World Cup..

Posted by mark2011 on (July 22, 2013, 14:51 GMT)

yes its consistency SL team lacks.. may be aftr one big win they tend to carried away with it instead of facing the next one as a new match....

Posted by   on (July 22, 2013, 13:23 GMT)

Would love to see Seresinghe play. If we are 3-0 ahead, we should consider giving Sanga, Mahela or Lasith a short break before the T20s.

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