Men’s ODI WC: Sri Lanka’s focus on death batting, bowling in middle overs, says coach Silverwood

Sri Lanka men’s cricket team’s coaching staff has identified batting in the death overs and bowling in middle overs as two areas of concern, that need some attention during the ongoing ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023.

Sri Lanka men’s cricket team’s coaching staff has identified batting in the death overs and bowling in middle overs as two areas of concern, that need some attention during the ongoing ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023.

These two segments of play were noticed as their Achilles heel during the match against Afghanistan as Sri Lanka failed to put up a big score and then could not stop Afghanistan from chasing the modest target, losing only three wickets.

Sri Lanka head coach Chris Silverwood said these are two areas they have spoken about within the team after the defeat to Afghanistan.

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“When we do get a good start it’s making sure that we finish innings off strong and obviously push on to big scores, and then taking wickets in the middle phase is something that we’re constantly working on. It’s not easy on good wickets but we have to find a way and we have to find a way of taking those wickets. Otherwise, you’re allowing other people to get big scores, making our lives difficult,” said Silverwood in his pre-match press conference ahead of the clash with India on Thursday.

In the game against Afghanistan, the middle order did not click and Sri Lanka came under pressure. Silverwood was asked whether the failure of Dhananjaya De Silva and Charith Asalanka was a concern for the team.

He replied in the negative, saying that they are experienced enough to score runs at any time.

“We know they have bags of experience in their locker and we’ve seen both of them score runs at various points. So, I mean, it’s like any game of cricket, not everybody will perform all the time, but what we do need is people to put their hands up, and at times it’ll be their time to do that as well.

“But thankfully we do have a few people that are in form. I mean Kusal [Mendis] has played some super knocks here, Sadeera has been Mr. Consistent, as has Pathum [Nissanka] at the top of the order as well,” the coach said.

Asked about the Indian bowling attack and the threat it poses to his team, Silverwood said they see it as an opportunity to play against the best.

“If you look at that bowling attack and you watch them operate, it’s a very strong bowling attack. I think any team in the world would want an attack like that, to be honest. But we see that as a great challenge for our guys. We see it as an opportunity to go out and play against the best and see I mean pit ourselves against that – But there’s no hiding it is a very good bowling attack,” he said.

(IANS)