Sri Lanka news March 16, 2014

SL hope for advantage in familiar conditions

Sri Lanka coach Paul Farbrace believes the experience of having played in Bangladesh over the past six weeks could work in favour of his team during the World T20.

Sri Lanka have been in Bangladesh since the last week of January, winning across all three formats in a bilateral series with the hosts, before claiming the Asia Cup title there this month. That victory was the result of many players putting in good performances and being on top of their game, going into the World T20.

"The advantage we have is we play our four group matches in Chittagong, where we played our two T20 matches against Bangladesh," Farbrace said. "We know the conditions and we got good balance in our squad, that's a great thing. We give ourselves a good chance if we are focussed and we practice properly"

However, it was important to not let complacency set in, given the team's recent record, Farbrace said. "The key is we don't get too overly carried away by the success we had on that Bangladesh tour. When we get back to Bangladesh we just need to make sure we are switched on and we are ready."

Having turned it around from some difficult positions of late, Sri Lanka go into the tournament with a good amount of self-belief, Fabrace said. "We would have to say that we are one of the teams going there thinking that we have got a good chance of doing well in the competition. The belief within the squad is such that we can win games from any position."

Sri Lanka recovered from 50 for 6, chasing 121, in the second T20 against Bangladesh, and then went from 67 for 8 to a match-winning 180 in the first ODI.

"One thing that Sri Lanka cricket has never been in doubt about is the fight which the players have," Farbrace said. "If we had thrown in the towel [in those matches] and said we are not going to win, that could have happened. But it never happened at any stage because the boys genuinely believed they could win. That's where the confidence grew and grew."

Farbrace believes to be successful at T20 cricket, fielding is a vital component. That is one aspect the team has been working a lot on, he said. "That's an area which can make or break a team in T20s. We've made a conscious effort to really work hard on our fielding and to make sure our fitness levels allow our fielding to be as good as it can be. Ruwan Kalpage [the fielding coach] has done a great job over the last three-four weeks.

"We sat down and said that we had to really work hard on our fielding and that's something we focused a lot - not just the techniques but our awareness in the field, understanding fielding positions, understanding what we need to be there for and really thinking about the game as best we can whilst we are fielding."

Sri Lanka open their campaign against South Africa on March 22. England, New Zealand and one other qualifying team will make up their group.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy on March 18, 2014, 9:05 GMT

    Sri Lanka will bring the world cup this doubt about it.good luck boys

  • Asanka Sharmal on March 17, 2014, 8:08 GMT

    Too much of favorite tag could put undue pressure on the players from the start. Pretty certain the reason to loose so many Finals is due to the lack self belief. Hope the SL team has addressed that aspect! Anyway all the best for the SL team and enjoy the cricket!

  • ESPN on March 16, 2014, 21:32 GMT

    For the Indian fans grumbling about Chandimal, pls relax if need be we will drop him and change the combination! It's better to lose with Chandimal than losing with Dhoni at the helm!

  • Android on March 16, 2014, 17:48 GMT

    go sl go.u can win despite ur captain unform.

  • Dummy4 on March 16, 2014, 17:10 GMT

    You can't guess in this shorter version. There are players of high calibre who can change the game in 20 balls. Gayle, De Villiers, Watson, Dhoni, Afridi etc. are some of those. Surely SL do not have such heros; and depend on team efforts. Look at patiently, they will be worth to be watched.

  • Shameera on March 16, 2014, 15:41 GMT

    SL is not gonna win this. They can't balance the side with their unsuitable captain.

  • Mihil on March 16, 2014, 15:40 GMT

    nothing is certain in this hit and giggle format..i'll be dropping all hopes when tournament starts..

  • Hashan on March 16, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    Spin on Afg and Ban clearly suggest this is the world cup for Asian teams.India,Pakistan, Sri Lanka and New Zealand will be semi finalists.

  • Md on March 16, 2014, 11:20 GMT

    Keep calm and watch lions.......

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