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October 6, 2013
Sri Lanka's fast bowling coach Chaminda Vaas has criticised the emerging group of seamers in the country's pace academy for being "soft" and wanting in drive for self-improvement.
Having begun his coaching term in February, Vaas, said the bowlers coming through had a long way to go before they can compete at an international standard.
"They don't know how to plan their future," Vaas said of Sri Lanka's young bowlers. "Those days when we bowled at the nets we learned something from each net session. We asked the batsman if there was anything wrong with our bowling or if we had made any mistakes, in order to improve our skills.
"But nowadays fast bowlers don't ask such questions. Either they are afraid to ask, or they are soft or their thinking pattern is different. So we have to keep telling them all the time what to do. It will take a long time for them to learn, but the only way to do it is by pushing them because they are not pushing themselves on their own."
Vaas had also worked with the New Zealand fast bowling unit on their tour of Sri Lanka last year, and suggested foreign bowlers had a greater aptitude for fast bowling strategy than Sri Lanka's young bowlers.
"The problem is they don't want learn," he said. "Only a few of them are keen others don't even want to watch a match to at least analyse their performance what their mistakes are. They've got to think like professionals. Bowlers from other countries know exactly what to do. You don't have to push them. That's what we have to learn from them and instill in our fast bowlers."
Sri Lanka's notoriously unsporting surfaces have been the bane of fast bowlers for years, but Vaas took a dim view of blaming pitches for seam bowlers' poor returns in domestic matches, and instead prescribed consistency in line and length, and self-confidence as a route to success.
"What I have advised these youngsters is being fast bowlers they should be prepared to bowl on any kind of surface. Whether it's a wicket suiting spin or batting, they have to bend their backs and bowl. At all the sessions I've been talking to them and training their mind as well as their fitness. The guys are a bit soft - some don't have the fast bowler's killer instinct."
However, Vaas identified Vishwa Fernando, Kanishka Alvitigala, Kasun Rajitha and Rukmal Fernando as a "few guys who have been identified as future fast bowlers" among the group currently training at the academy.
"We have about 10 good fast bowlers from a squad of 20," he said. It will take at least another three years for them to get into the side."
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