Only twice – barring the 2006 series against India that was washed out – in the last 31 years has Sri Lanka not won at least one game in an ODI series at home. As the third and final game of the series comes closer, they face up to the prospect once again, with Bangladesh keen to continue maintaining the pressure on the home side, Cricinfo reports
Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha has said that his team is now more confident as they lead the series 1-0, and the home side would have to do all the running. The visitors won the first match by 90 runs before rain forced the second ODI to be abandoned after the hosts had put up a challenging total.
“We are very much confident [of a series win] if we get our processes right,” Hathurusingha said. “I think we will do well against Sri Lanka. They are a very strong team at home. I can’t remember a time when they didn’t win a single game in a series, so it is a good position we are in. We are 1-0 up so we can’t lose the series. They have to play well, and we have to play our best game to come good.”
Bangladesh became a more confident side during their Colombo Test win, which many of the players and Hathurusingha have said had something to do with a long team meeting after their crushing 259-run defeat in Galle.
“When you win, everything looks good. The body language and effort on the field is the biggest change I have seen in the last few matches, after the Galle Test. They had a good one-to-one afterwards, and the boys responded to that very well. In the last game we were a bit lethargic after the first ten overs, but after that they were really good in the heat,” said Hathurusingha.
Though he has been known to be a disciplinarian, Hathurusingha’s approach of giving the batsmen a lot of freedom has been attributed as one of the main reasons for Bangladesh’s progress as an ODI side in the last two years. The current mood within the team can be gauged by the overall improvement in the fielding and body language in the Colombo Test and the first two ODIs in Dambulla.
Hathurusingha, when asked why many members of the second ODI’s playing XI weren’t at training at the SSC ground on Wednesday, said that he trusts the players’ preparation and understands how much the weather can have an impact on their physical well-being.
“The thing is, we don’t need to train every day. If the players know they are prepared well enough, they can always have rest. It is very hard to play cricket in Sri Lanka. It is very hot.
“When players are confident, and if I know they are prepared well enough, I want them to be mentally prepared and physically be rested for the game,” he said.