We are one win away from getting our confidence back – Thisara


Any team can go through this. It is like a cycle. There’s a period that you do well; (and there’s) another period that you don’t do so well, says Sri Lanka’s new ODI Captain Thisara Perera. (Files)

Rex Clementine
reporting from Delhi

After much drama, nine players who form Sri Lanka’s ODI outfit arrived in Delhi in the early hours of Wednesday and had a training session at the Ferosha Kotla as their team-mates were desperately trying to salvage a draw in the third Test against India.

After Sri Lanka’s humiliating 3-0 whitewash at home against the Indians, not many people gave them a chance in the return series, but Dinesh Chandimal’s side did pretty well drawing the Calcutta and Delhi games despite suffering their heaviest defeat in Test cricket in Nagpur. The innings-and-239-run loss remains the only blemish in the tour so far and it remains to be seen how Thisara Perera turns the fortunes of the Lankan ODI outfit.

Sri Lanka have suffered defeats in their last 12 games and the first ODI against India gets underway on Sunday at the gorgeous Dharamsala.

"Any team can go through this. It is like a cycle. There’s a period that you do well; (and there’s) another period that you don’t do so well. We can’t be bringing players from other countries and represent Sri Lanka. We have to work with the players we have. With the talents we have, I am confident that moving forward, we will be alright. We lack a bit of confidence at the moment. If we win one game, everything will be fine, I feel," Perera said.

It will be Perera’s first ODI as captain having taken over from Upul Tharanga under whom Sri Lanka suffered three straight whitewashes at the hands of South Africa, India and Pakistan.

"The selectors gave me a lot of confidence. They were impressed with the way I captained the team against Pakistan. That’s a huge strength for me. I see this as a big opportunity for us and I want to turn this team into a winning outfit again," he went on to say.

One big advantage for Sri Lanka is the return of all-rounder Asela Gunaratne and wicketkeeper batsman Kusal Janith Perera, who were an integral part of Sri Lanka’s ODI outfit before they were injured. Perera sustained a hamstring injury during Champions Trophy in June while Gunaratne fractured his thumb attempting a catch in the first Test against India in Galle in July.

"When we were doing well, we depended a hell of a lot on those two players. They helped us to balance the side. I am really pleased with their arrival as it helps us to get that blend again. Very excited about the games ahead of us," Perera went on to say.

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