Tharanga told the media in the pre-match press conference at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium on Friday, “We were bitterly disappointed to lose the last Test match. This is a new series and it’s a good opportunity for us to come back strongly. Even the last series we played, we were beaten by South Africa 5-0. This is an opportunity for us to bounce back."
Sri Lanka are without some senior players in the shape of regular captain Angelo Mathews and paceman Lasith Malinga. Tharanga however, said they have enough firepower to attain some good results, even in the absence of the seniors.
“They are two of our seniormost players. There are a lot of younger guys who have emerged. In the last two series, guys like Niroshan Dickwella and Asela Gunaratne came up and did a decent job. We are going to miss the seniors no doubt, but it’s an opportunity for some of the other guys in the squad to perform,” he said.
“We are well prepared. There are some new players who are in the squad and some seniors have returned, like Seekkuge Prasanna and Thisara Perera. After the last Test match, we were down. And we are determined to put up a good show,” he added.
The interim Lankan captain admitted that the team have worked hard recently, particularly in the fielding department, as they put in some below-par displays in the last few series'.
“After the Test series, we had four sessions. In all those four sessions, we dedicated a lot of time for fielding. I think we are doing quite okay in practice, when it comes to fielding. I don’t think we have fielded well in the last two series'. We tried to give players some enjoyment in fielding. Our drills were done in such a way that the players will enjoy them. We are determined to raise our fielding standards,” he said.
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