Batting legend Aravinda de Silva gives pep talk to boost flagging morale:
PALLEKELE: Sri Lanka battling hard with injuries and up against an inform Indian team with the possibility of being whitewashed 3-0 in the three-match Test series got a morale boost ahead of the third and final cricket Test starting at Pallekele International Stadium today from former Sri Lanka legend Aravinda de Silva.
De Silva had a pep talk with the players and according to skipper Dinesh Chandimal it’s had a positive effect on the team.
“Aravinda is a legend and you know, he is one of the greatest batsman that Sri Lanka has ever produced. We had a chat with him three days ago. After that players look really confident,” said Chandimal.
“I hope the players use that advice and continue their performance in the game. It's always about the confidence. Not to worry about the past and poor performances.”
De Silva spoke to the players at a strategic session arranged by Sri Lanka Cricket on Monday.
“That's a very important meeting. All the players were there at the meeting and we discussed how we could take our game forward and lift it. How we're going to win games,” said Chandimal.
“It's a good thing and all the players also contributed to that. Lot of positives came out. At the end of the meeting, all the players were in a bit of an upbeat mood and that looks really good. I thank SLC for having a meeting of that nature and bringing a legend like Aravinda de Silva to motivate us.”
As captain Chandimal faces a big challenge to uplift the morale of his team who has suffered heavy losses in the first two Tests being beaten inside four days on each occasion.
“It's a difficult task but the real captain has to stay with the team at difficult moments,” said Chandimal. “It's a big challenge for the whole team but if one or two youngsters can come out and shine to a level that we can win this game, it's a great moral booster to the whole team. We mustn't forget the fact that we're up against the world's number one team. We're waiting to pick that win.
“The series is not yet over. As a captain, I don't like to lose. Whether it’s the world's number one team or number eight team I want to win. We're putting our full effort to do that but we cannot control the ultimate result.”
With fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep out of contention with a hamstring injury Chandimal hinted at Lahiru Kumar and uncapped Vishwa Fernando getting the nod.
“Lahiru and Vishwa are bowling well these days. As the two senior bowlers are not in contention, it’s a good opportunity for them to put up their hands and make a contribution. I hope the two will grab the opportunity,” said Chandimal.
Rain has been prevalent throughout the past few days and it is expected to cause interruptions to the Test. Both teams forewent practice yesterday because of rain. “We did practice yesterday (Thursday) at the Indoor nets but certain batsmen are not all that happy batting at indoor nets. We were to practice in the morning but it rained and we lost the opportunity. However, the trainers gave us some exercises and we did them,” said Chandimal. “On the other hand, we thought it's good to come for tomorrow's game with a bit of a rest to the mind.”
[Aravinda’s 10 Commandments to our cricketers]
Some key points that Aravinda de Silva got across to the Sri Lanka cricketers:
lPlay fearless cricket which is the Sri Lankan style
lDo not worry about failure, selectors must believe in the players and give them a decent run
lDon’t worry about the selectors and of being dropped they believe in you that’s why they have picked you
lLearn through you mistakes everybody makes mistakes, experience is all about making mistakes and learning
lDon’t worry about criticism on social media, facebook, twitter just go out there and do what is best for you
lWhen under pressure take your mind off and do things that make you happy and comfortable don’t think about cricket all the time, but relax and enjoy life
lAs youngsters players are also adults – coaches and administrators need not treat them like children
lThey have to accept that they are adults and know their responsibilities if you lose a match you don’t have to run 10 rounds or do practice as punishment
lCricket is 90 percent mind game and fitness those are the two things you have to focus on
lPlayers need support from spectators, selectors and everyone, they should get together and support them and back their ability plus their talent.