Sri Lanka news May 17, 2011

Atapattu wants to bridge batting gulf within team


Sri Lanka's batting coach Marvan Atapattu has said there is a big gulf between the batting ability of senior batsmen Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene and remaining batsmen in the national side.

"Just because a batting coach has been given to a national side it doesn't mean you are going to be No. 1 tomorrow, "Atapattu told ESPNcricinfo. "We've got to work ourselves up and at the same time the batsmen that we have, the two senior-most are one hundred times better than the others. They have been the best for a number of years in the top five."

Atapattu's first assignment with the team is the tour of England and while he acknowledges there is still "room for improvement" within the Sri Lankan side, he says will look at giving "options" to batsmen to help make them "better players" and work towards "getting their contribution" which is best suited to the team. "What I am focusing on is not to put myself under too much of pressure and more importantly not put too much pressure on the players,"

Atapattu, who played 90 Tests and 268 ODIs for Sri Lanka, said it was important to keep a fresh inflow of ideas and constantly innovate to get the best out of the players. "As a unit we've got to make the best use of the individuals, to get the best we want and then try and improve the individuals to get the best out of them by way of technique, mental plus skill.

"Coaching is not all about how to play a back foot or a forward defence or a cover drive but about knowing somebody's routines and what is best suited for the individual."

Sri Lanka beat Middlesex by four wickets, in their first tour match. They next play the England Lions in a four-day tour match that begins on Thursday. The first Test against England starts on May 26 in Cardiff.

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  • Dummy4 on May 19, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    Who says that Thilan is a poor test player and Angelo is like Sanga and Mahela in Test cricket ? Please check the statistics of them and you will find Prasanna is a better test batsman than Angelo.

  • Ishara on May 18, 2011, 18:56 GMT

    100% agree with Blake. Sanga is the best we have now. Mahela is in same bracket as Thilan. infact he out class mahela in many times when they bat together. Look , in Test cricket past few years Thilan batted very very well. I remember he played some unbelievable drives against NZ in SL. He definitely out class mahela. I think Mavan lost his mind saying there is a huge gap between M,S & others. Chandimal can be better than those two guys. one thing clear. Mahela and sanga definitely very confident as soon as they came to the scene. so what MA needs to do just give younger guys that confidence. I am 100% sure Chandimal & Banuka got lot of talent, may be they can break all records set by M&S one day. that s not only, we have lot of batting talent at home. ARS Silva etc. lets give these young guys opportunity to prove their ability. Kaushal Silva also a very good batter. MA please choose your words carefully.

  • Andrew on May 18, 2011, 3:14 GMT

    Hmmm 100 times better then Samaweera? Strictly speaking Sanga & Mahela should be averaging 5400.00 then????? LOL! I wonder how that makes Samaweera, Matthews & Dilshan feel????

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    I dont think Marvan is going to teach them how to hold the bat properly and say " bat up and drive" in training sessions as what they used to do in their early school cricketing career. As he implied he will give them options to work on. It is just like SL cricket allowing natural bowlers to groom through the cracks of school cricket coaches. PPl like murali malinga burst in to the international arena with their unique actions, so just like that batsman also followed the same footsteps. As for an example I don't think anyone in SL cricket team can play the cover drive as fast and strong as dilshan does. Thats due to way he holds the bat and his feet movement / lack of feet movement towards the ball when the ball is pitched up to him.

  • Sinhhalaya on May 17, 2011, 10:38 GMT

    Atapattu is totally correct. Since the lower echelons of SL cricket are now based mostly on the one day/T20 format and with this cancer spreading to school cricket, no consideration is paid to proper batting. The gap between Upul Tharanga's bat and pad is wider than the grand canyon. Paranavithana will be found out when the ball deviates. Most others are bashers such as the vaunted captain - whose average demonstrates his gulf in class when compared to S and M. No one else in this team is comparable. Even Thilan won his support after becoming a quick(er) scorer at the expense of solidity. At least he has his basics intact. When "Mad Max Aravinda" grew up and went back to his classical batting roots, he became world class and dependable. Sidath, Roy, Arjuna, Hashan, Gura and Mahanama did not intentionally play an ugly hoick in their careers. Marvy - you have your work cut out for you.

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2011, 10:28 GMT

    @Blake: well Atapattu knows better than you, that's why he is given the opportunity to coach this team :) what Atapattu says here is true, 100 times better is an exaggerated term to emphasize that idea, Chandimal is a better player, but as far as the international exposure, temperament & consistency is concerned Mayya & Sanga are the best, take a look at averages, away averages & ranking, Samare has a lot to prove & Dili doesn't fall into the same category of Mayya & Sanga, but all are good players in their own terms, Chandi is a good prospect & has that edge to conquer the future of SL Cricket, along with Bhanuka R future will be great for Sri Lanka, but still Chandi has to go a long way to match up with Sanga & Mayya, remember Chandi's real test begins now, he has done exceptionally well at domestic & schooling arena, but how he performs against top international performers could not be easy,may he consume lesser innings to achieve the heights that Mayya & Sanga achieved !

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    YEah Chandimal is a better batsman than those two.. time will prove it.

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    chandimul who just joined the team is on the way to being a better batsman then sanga and jawawardena, in fact they are no better then him and to say those 2 are a hundred times better is not fair or realistic. Dilshan and paranavitana are also solid and in tests samaraweera is on par with jayawardena. so attapattu has no idea about his batting group

  • Vishwanath on May 17, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    with the exception of dilshan, and to a lesser extent mathews, his comment on sangakkara and jayawardena being 100X better than the rest is correct. hopefully he'll motivate the rest to work harder and become better batsmen.

  • Ryan on May 17, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    this is very true. silva and others need to start contributing

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