Fast bowling talents excite Tim McCaskil

National cricketers conclude eight day training camp


Tim McCaskil with Fast Bowling Coach Rumesh Ratnayake(Picture Credit Sameera Peiris)

Rex Clementine in Kandy

The national cricket team has successfully completed an eight day residential training camp in Kandy ahead of the tour of Caribbean. The training camp that was worked off at Pallekele International Stadium concluded at 3pm yesterday. The final day was specifically set up to work on match situations. Designed by Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha, all players and coaches were in agreement that they witnessed some of the most meaningful training on these eight days. The only negative was the effort to train under lights with the pink ball was not possible due to torrential rain in the hill capital in the night.

With bowling being Sri Lanka’s weakest link, it appeared that a lot of emphasis being placed on this discipline. Former Australian leg-spinner Peter Sleep and Cricket Victoria High Performance Manager Tim McCaskil, who is a Fast Bowling coach, had been hired by Sri Lanka Cricket on short term stints.

McCaskil has had a lot of success working with fast bowlers who are returning to competitive cricket after serious injuries with fellow Victorian James Pattinson being a case in point. He said that he was impressed with the fast bowling talent in Sri Lanka.

"Kasun Rajitha has been bowling really well. He swings and moves the ball nicely. You also have Suranga Lakmal who is experienced and knows his game. Lahiru Kumara then has got raw pace and those players are the ones to watch out for," McCaskil told The Island in an interview.

"When the ball swings there is a chance for a wicket. There are players who have natural pace and the challenge for those who don’t have the natural pace is to make sure that they swing the ball and they have got control of line and length,"McCaskil explained.

"Pace is a good thing but if you bowl fast and don’t know where you are going you are not going to get wickets. There is pace and then there is craft for fast bowling and these guys have got craft and that’s going to serve them well," he noted.

McCaskil, who is a career coach with no experience as a First Class cricketer, will be conducting a session for coaches of SLC at RPS on Friday.

"With the players, we are mindful that they are just about to go into a series and we need to work on how they feel - do they feel strong at the crease, how they are feeling the ball is coming out. Any conversation is on the game and not confusing them all of a sudden thinking they have to do technical stuff lead up to a series."

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