Dinesh Chandimal has been advised to go and work on his game in club cricket by Sri Lanka's chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya, after the tour of South Africa concluded with a 5-0 ODI defeat. Chandimal endured a difficult time in South Africa, where his highest score was 36 in 12 international innings. He was eventually dropped from the ODI XI for the last two matches.
Although Chandimal had been among Sri Lanka's most consistent batsmen in 2016, Jayasuriya suggest he was nevertheless prone to worrying troughs of form. In a previous stint as chief selector, Jayasuriya sent Chandimal off to play for the Sri Lanka A team in the middle of a Test series with South Africa.
"Chandimal should go back to club cricket," Jayasuriya told Cricbuzz. "He should work his game out. This is not the first time he has gone through a tough patch. He has to be mentally very strong. You can't think of failure all the time. Have a chat to the computer analyst, find out what's going wrong and come back stronger. These are tough times for him. You find media and social media going after you, and you have to keep these things aside and concentrate on your cricket."
Jayasuriya also said the surfaces in South Africa on this trip were surprisingly green, in comparison to Sri Lanka's previous tours to the country. All three Test tracks had a substantial covering of live grass on the first morning - which Test captain Faf du Plessis confirmed was part of a ploy to neutralise Sri Lanka's spinners. The limited-overs surfaces were more neutral in their appearance but Jayasuriya suggested several of those were perhaps made to order as well.
"I am not trying to give excuses and I admit we played bad cricket - we should be up for any challenge. But having said that, I must mention that I have never seen so much of grass in South Africa especially when it comes to one-day cricket.
"In ODIs, you generally get wickets that are good for batting. Port Elizabeth, for example, is the slowest wicket in South Africa, but this time I found they had left a lot of grass [on]."
Though Sri Lanka recently triumphed in an ODI tri-series against West Indies, who are ranked ninth, and Zimbabwe, who are 11th, they have lost their four most recent bilateral series to higher-ranked sides.
"The Champions Trophy in England is a few months away and hopefully that can be a new start," Jayasuriya said. "Again the conditions will be tough and we need to sit down and discuss how we can prepare. Maybe we can send the team to England earlier to help the players to adjust to conditions."