Sri Lanka’s Head Coach Nic Pothas has justified his decision to not to travel to Lahore for the one off T-20 International against Pakistan later this month.
Pothas along with seven other players and the team’s physiotherapist Nirmalan Dhanabalasingham pulled out of the Lahore leg of the tour. SLC named a new-look side under the leadership of all-rounder Thisara Perera for the entire series.
“It was a family decision. My family is not very happy about me going. For me my family comes first,” Pothas told ‘The Island’.
“Some Pakistani media earlier today reminded me that several South Africans had gone to Lahore last month for the World XI games. It was their decision. Their decision doesn’t influence my decision. Ideally the Board wanted everyone to go. But no one pressurised me to do anything,” Pothas added.
Sri Lanka were outstanding in the Test series which they won 2-0 to end Pakistan’s unbeaten run in UAE. However, in ODIs, Sri Lanka have failed to compete. If the team loses today’s final ODI, it will be their third whitewash this year having suffered similar results against South Africa and India in 2017.
“It is disappointing but we are also playing a different Pakistan team. You have to take that into account. We are building a Test team so we are very happy with the result of the Test team. Pakistan are Champions Trophy winners, they are on a roll. They are playing good one-day cricket and they have got their formula down. So they can wake up at 3’o clock in the morning and their team can go and execute their roles and execute their skills. They are in a very good place. We probably know we are in different place.”
Pakistan’s bowling with its variety has been quite formidable and they haven’t conceded 250 runs in their last seven ODIs. “When a team is winning, it’s pretty easy to bring new players into their team because there is a good culture, there is a confident culture. It is pretty easy to just drop people into that kind of environment. It is not easy when you are not winning. So they certainly do have one of the best bowling line ups in the world. You can’t argue with results and argue with numbers.”
Sri Lanka’s batting has been a concern as in the last 11 games they have not been able to score 240 runs even once. The bowlers have done a decent job while fielding has shown signs of improvement, but the batters have failed to back them up.
“It is pretty obvious. It is not rocket science. We just want the batters to be a little more positive about the way they go about things. We also understand we need to be in the right mental frame of mind to be there. So our job is to try and give the players the freedom to be able to play their way. It is going to be a very good wicket again and it is not the biggest boundary in the world. So we are always looking to just improving,” Pothas added.