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Former Sri Lankan cricketers disappointed with team’s World Cup preparation

Arjuna Ranatunga praised Sri Lanka Cricket’s act of organizing the tour of New Zealand prior to World Cup but feels dissatisfied the new comers’ performances in the latter part of the seven-match One-Day International (ODI) series.

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After losing the One-Day series against New Zealand, former Sri Lankan Player Arjuna Ranatunga, Aravinda de Silva and Muttiah Muralitharan raised their concerns over the preparation of the national side of this month’s ICC World Cup 2015.

As reported by thesundayleader.lk, Ranatunga said, “If you analyze the side, I am not pretty sure whether we picked the right side and if you see some of the players were given very little chances and some were given more chances but I do not know whether we have the right combination.”

The 1996 World Cup winning captain praised Sri Lanka Cricket’s act of organizing the tour of New Zealand prior to World Cup but feels dissatisfied the new comers’ performances in the latter part of the seven-match One-Day International (ODI) series. He also believed that the squad depended heavily on the seniors; Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Tilakaratne Dilshan.

“What we thrived on in ’96 was confidence. We imparted the confidence we had in players even if they weren’t doing well. Not sure if they are doing it any more. We have a talented bowling attack but their mindset is not there. Attitude is defense and not bowling aggressively to take wickets. For me we are not playing our brand of cricket. Those days we sit together and analyze. Aravinda, Roshan, Gura (Gurusinghe) took the batting, bowling was headed by Vaas and Promo (Promodya Wickremasinghe) as well as the youngsters where the biggest contribution came from,” Ranatunga added.

De Silva and Muralitharan couldn’t comprehend the board’s decision of dropping Upul Tharanga and Kusal Perera and De Silva deemed it as ‘a very serious blunder.’

Muralitharan said, “We are playing too many all-rounders. We need to have proper bowlers, which we had in ’96 and the last three World Cups. If the side went through a bad patch to iron it out we increased the batters. Only as a cover we had all-rounders. If you look at the situation now bowlers change from one tournament to another which results in no confidence and lack of performance. The injury worries compounds the situation.”

De Silva also favoured local coaches over foreign coaches due to their greater knowledge about team. “If you look at the local coaching knowledge it is far greater than most of the foreign coaches. We have some of the best but the issue is local coaches should be independent from politics, favourations. That pressure comes. And one other area we are lacking is psychology where we need to strengthen our minds and quickly recover from bad patches,” said de Silva.

Sri Lanka start their World Cup campaign with the inaugural match against New Zealand on 14 February at Christchurch.

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