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Mendis confident as SL gears up for Afghan ODI Series

8 February 2024 08:14 pm - 5     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Colombo, Feb. 8 (Daily Mirror) - Sri Lanka's One Day International (ODI) Captain Kusal Mendis expressed confidence ahead of their clash against Afghanistan, starting at the Pallekele Stadium in Kandy tomorrow.

Speaking at the pre-match media conference in Pallekele today, Mendis acknowledged the importance of performing well to improve on their ICC ODI Rankings.

"Rankings are just a number and if we perform well we could climb in the rankings," he said.

He attributed the drop in the ODI rankings was because they struggled in their previous outings. "We dropped in the ODI rankings because we failed to play better."

Looking to build on their 3-0 clean sweep against Zimbabwe, Mendis said the team aims to finish the ODI series against Afghanistan also in style.

He highlighted the team's balance in batting and bowling, emphasising their strategy of winning each match to improve their position.

Commenting regarding the playing XI, Mendis hinted at minimal changes compared to the Zimbabwe series.

He expressed faith in Avishka Fernando, despite his lack of dominance in the previous matches, suggesting continued opportunities for him and Pathum Nissanka as potential openers.

"I have communicated clearly with both players about my expectations," Mendis said.

Addressing the concern of missing all-rounders, Mendis dismissed the claim of a weakness and highlighted the presence of Wanindu Hasaranga, Dunith Wellalage, and Chamika Karunaratne.

"We possess a strong pool of all-rounders who are vital to our success. I anticipate contributions of at least 30 to 40 runs and a couple of wickets from our all-rounders," he said.

"As we look ahead to major tournaments, including the 2027 World Cup, our emphasis is on grooming young players who will form the backbone of our team," Mendis said.

Acknowledging the formidable challenge posed by the Afghan Team, Mendis emphasised the need for meticulous preparation.

"Afghanistan boasts experienced players and has performed well in various leagues.”

Mendis stressed the importance of minimizing mistakes and playing top-quality cricket to secure victory against Afghanistan.

"Our preparations are thorough and we are gearing up to face Afghanistan with the same intensity and focus we reserve for top cricketing nations like Australia and New Zealand," he concluded. 

 

 


Sports Minister greenlights Sri Lanka’s ODI squad for Afghanistan series


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  • D P P Prasad Thursday, 08 February 2024 09:30 PM

    The captain can’t underestimate Afaganishthan team.Thus our batsmen should play match winning innings. Our bowlers should understand their responsibilities. Further Kusal should recollect and concentrate on their previous matches played with world class teams during last World Cup.Kusal cannot compare Afaganishthan with Zimbabwe. Afaganishthan is stronger than Zimbabwe. Therefore each player should understand his responsibility in order to secure a good result

    aswin welikala Friday, 09 February 2024 03:36 AM

    Why is the minister getting involved with the player selection. This should be done by the cricket board.

    Cherath Thursday, 08 February 2024 11:37 PM

    In limited overs games it is vital for the openers to set up a good score for the rest to follow, rather than attempting to blast away from over 1. A minimum of 10 overs together is a must. In bowling, always keep the last 2 overs for the 2 best fast bowlers. Middle over batsmen should avoid hoiking within the triangle - between long mid off and long mid on.

    Ram Friday, 09 February 2024 04:08 AM

    Mendis failed since Captaincy

    Navi Friday, 09 February 2024 08:59 PM

    Is Mendis playing for the bookies ????? I have my doubts about him. Is he plagued by that manslaughter hit


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