(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) It is never easy when a team is faring badly. Faults are found in their batting or then their bowling, especially when the losing streak is a long one, in this case 11 consecutive defeats.
The Sri Lankan one-day squad is currently facing such a situation. Right from the series against India, where they were hammered in their own backyard, to the current series against Pakistan in the UAE where they currently trail 4-0, nothing seems to be going right for the island nation.
The only thing that has gone their way so far is the toss with skipper Upul Tharanga winning three of the four.
It's not that Sri Lanka are in a transition period. That is the Test side which is trying to come to terms after the retirements of stalwarts like Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Muttiah Muralitharan. In fact the Test team surprised one and all by trouncing Pakistan 2-0 recently. True, Pakistan too are rebuilding after legends like Misbah
Haq and Younis Khan hung their gloves. But the team, under Sarfraz Ahmed, seems to have picked up the pieces, and are looking a different outfit altogether in the shorter format.
Alas, the same cannot be said about Sri Lanka, who have hit a low ebb. Coach Nic Pothas looked lost for words as he tried to describe his team's poor performances ahead of their fifth ODI against Pakistan at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium to be played on Monday. "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," the South African said on the eve of the match.
Barring Upul Tharanga's 112 and 61 and a half century each from Lahiru Thirimanne and Akila Dananjaya none of the other batsmen have come to the party in the four ODIs played so far which has made Nic's task all the more difficult. When asked whether he has made any corrections to their batting, he said, "Batters always play better when it is positive. His decision making is better, his feet movement will be better and there will be an intent to score if you stay in a positive mind. It has been the same message all the way through."
Pothas refused to make comparisons between the Test and ODI teams. Neither was he willing to accept that the ODI squad was a young one. In fact he was all praise for his opponents. "Look Pakistan are Champions Trophy winners, they are on a roll. They can wake up at 3'o clock in the morning and go and execute their roles. Also, I don't think we can call this a young team. We have some very senior guys in the squad who have handled a lot of one day cricket."
Nic confirmed that he will not be travelling with the team to Pakistan for the third T20 match. "I believe that every individual has his own reasons and one has to respect the decision that he has taken."
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