Our overall growth is fantastic but we need batting depth: Sri Lanka Head Coach Mickey Arthur
Sri Lanka will play India in three T20Is, starting July 25 in Colombo.
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After a disappointing start to the three-match ODI series as Sri Lanka lost the first two games, the team bounced back and recorded a three-wicket win in the last encounter to avoid a clean-sweep and bag 10 much-needed points in the ICC ODI Super League points table.
Sri Lankan head coach Mickey Arthur, who was dejected after the team’s loss in the second ODI, has now stated that the unit has shown improvement but needs to have batting depth to give India a fight in the T20I series, which goes underway in Colombo from Sunday.
Notably, both teams will have World Cup preparations in mind as they head into the three-match series. Meanwhile, Arthur also praised the team for learning from their mistakes in the past and applying them well in the last ODI to end their winless streak at home against India, which was running since 2012.
We are getting there, but we have got a long way to go: Mickey Arthur
“We are creating depths across all the departments now. We just have to get that little bit of consistency and that same depth into our batting,” Arthur said at a virtual pre-match press conference ahead of the first T20.
“For numerous reasons we never seem to put our best batting line up out there. It is being about creating depth for me, but also trying to be consistent. Giving guys clear roles but then allowing them to go out and playing with freedom. We saw a really good example of that in Charith (Asalanka) the other night,” Arthur added.
“The growth I have seen in these players has been fantastic and the growth comes from giving them confidence and giving them that consistency that they are going to play. We will see the rewards of that in the future for sure,” the 53-year-old noted.
“We were struggling, our white ball cricket was going nowhere. We were ranked eight or nine in the world and we needed some reforms and change with that.”
“We needed to try and rebuild the team, we needed to look at a team we could take forward all the way to the 2023 World Cup and have a side ready at that point. And that is why we had that change, was to bring some young fresh faces in, see what they can do but also give them an opportunity to perform,” he explained.
“And I think, we are getting there, we have got a long way to go. The win last night was great and we got very close the game before and that just shows continued improvement,” he signed off.