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Mirpur: Apr 2, 2014
Paul Farbrace, the Sri Lanka coach has brushed aside any talks of historical pressure when they face West Indies in the ICC World T20 2014 semi-final at the Sher-E-Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur on Thursday. Sri Lanka had lost in the final of the previous World T20 to West Indies and skipper Darren Sammy had said that it would linger in the Sri Lankan’s minds.
When asked about that pressure of history, Farbrace said, “The simple fact is that that was then and this is now. Obviously, I am not going to share too many plans with you. I would say that the win against New Zealand was a massive boost for us. We felt that we were probably 15-20 runs short and our bowling performance showed the fight and spirit in the team.”
Sri Lanka had also lost a warm-up game to West Indies in the lead-up to the Super 10s, but Farbrace is not worried about that result. When asked whether that game would have any bearing, he said, “No not at all. The practice match, we didn’t play a couple of our main bowlers. We gave other people an opportunity. The last game will have no bearing what so ever. T20 is about whoever turns up on that day. Form goes out of the window as well when it comes to T20. Three or four overs from one particular bowler with bat or ball can change the game.”
Farbrace also said that such crunch games are the ones players wait to play for. “This is where you want to be. You want to be involved in the big games. This is what players play for, the semi-finals and finals of the World Cup competitions. We are very excited about the gametomorrow,” he said.
Apart from the defeat to West Indies in the last World T20 final, Sri Lanka have lost in quite a few semi-finals and finals of tournaments in the recent past, but they recently lifted the Asia Cup. Farbrace said, “Yes, you could look at it that way. You could also look at it and say they have done really well in most competitions and got to finals. We had a big win here in the Asia Cup three weeks. We beat India and we beat Pakistan twice. That was a big hurdle for the team in the Asia Cup, not only to win it, but win it convincingly. The final was a convincing win and that gave the team a lot of confidence.”
In the game against New Zealand, Sri Lanka replaced Ajantha Mendis with Rangana Herath, who came into the side and picked up five wickets for only three runs. This is now a selection headache for them going into the semi-final. “Definitely yes, it is a lovely headache to have. We know that we have some very high quality spin bowlers in our team. There has been plenty of discussion and there would be plenty more before the coin goes out tomorrow night,” Farbrace said.
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