Sri Lanka oust Thilan Samaraweera as the batting coach
The coaching staff has seen quite a few changes in the last few months.
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Thilan Samaraweera has been removed as the batting coach of Sri Lanka. Thilan Samaraweera was head coach Chandika Hathurusingha’s choice and he could be replaced by the former head coach of Durham, Jon Lewis. Previously, Thilan worked with Bangladesh as a batting consultant and was axed even after being offered an extension till the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
This news comes as no surprise as Sri Lanka’s batting has been dismal in recent times, to say the least. In the recently concluded home series against England, Sri Lanka’s batting let them down big time as they were whitewashed by the visitors as per reports in Island Cricket. It also marked the first time in 56 years that England whitewashed a side away from home.
What’s even more surprising is that there wasn’t a single centurion from Sri Lanka and mammoth collapses were very much frequent in their batting displays throughout the series. Playing at home, they were expected to counter spin well but they faltered in their own plans. In the third test, Sri Lanka lost as many as nine wickets for 67 runs.
A tough road ahead of World Cup
Not long ago, Steve Rixon took over as the fielding coach in a bid to restore the former dominance of the Sri Lankan side. The fielding has been a major let-down for them and the fitness levels of the players haven’t been too great. Ever since Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene’s retirement, times haven’t been too great for the 2011 World cup finalists. Their batting seems shallow and the bowlers look unsettled.
All these are worrying factors for Sri Lankan cricket. With less than 6 months to go for the ICC World Cup 2019 in England and Wales, a change in the coaching staff is never a good sign for any side. It will take a herculean effort from both, the players and the coaching staff to restore the long-lost dominance of the once mighty Lankan side. Only time will tell if axing Thilan Samaraweera was the right move.