Perhaps the only difference between the full-fledged series that took place in Sri Lanka a few months ago and the one that ended on Sunday (December 24) was that the Islanders managed to register a win this time around.
But instead of feeling disappointed over the results, Sri Lanka’s interim coach Nic Pothas believes the tour will make the players better.
Sri Lanka’s tour of India concluded with a crushing five-wicket defeat, the margin which does not justify the effort they put in while defending a modest target. Well, the Islanders suffered the same fate more than once on tour, as they managed to win just a solitary One-Day International despite giving the formidable hosts a run for their money on more than one occasion.
In the first Test, they had India on the mat before going down in the following game. In the last Test, they played out of their skin to salvage a draw before winning the first ODI. However, failure to come up with consistent performances cost them, dear, as they went on to lose all the games from thereon.
“Any tour to India is going to be though. From an education point of view and our players point of view, I think everyone will leave from here a better player. They’ll now understand mentally what they need to improve or physically what they need to work on,” Pothas said after the defeat in the third T20I.
“There are certainly a lot of things we need to work on, but everyone will leave this tour in a better place and have a better understanding of their own game. Once you’ve gone through a series like this, there are only two ways to go. Either you are going to fall off the bus, or you are going to become a better player. The characters will be tested, and this series for us will answer who the tough characters are,” he added.
The Islanders are now set to start a new journey under newly-appointed head coach Chandika Hathurusingha, and Pothas believes things would only get better in the coming days.
“I think it’ll only get better,” he stated. “You’ve started to see some good performances. We have been good in patches. I would probably say that in the first T20 we didn’t compete at all. In the second T20, there were two fantastic innings played, and it’s hard to follow that up. But then we also had a couple of good innings where we competed as well. We certainly competed here.
Pothas also took heart from the way Sri Lanka managed to give a stiff challenge to the Men in Blue despite having only 135 runs on the board.
“When you take a game this close a little rub of the green here and there and the game can go your way. MS [Dhoni] gets a faint edge or gets a leading edge back to the bowler, and you are in the game. Satisfied with where we are heading, and this is certainly going to stand us in a good stead in the next tour to Bangladesh,” he said.
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