Ready to counter-attack India, but have to execute plans: Ratnayake

Monday, November 13, 2017

Iterating that his side has done all that they could have to counterattack India in the Test series, Sri Lanka bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayeke on Sunday laid stress on executing plans and strategies at the right time.

"We've plans for everybody. We are always good with plans. Can we execute those plans? At what stage? At what point? Hopefully, that works to our benefit. Then we have to look at the other way also. We have to counter-attack," Ratnayake told media persons here after the drawn warm-0up game with Board President XI.

With the Sri Lankans losing 0-9 at home to India across formats earlier this year, Ratnayake said this time around they were taking it as challenge.

"We are seeing where we can sort of improve on. We have discussed what we can do, in the areas of batting and bowling.

"We know the players we are going to meet. Hopefully strategies wil l work out. And hopefully the execution comes upright. We are ready for it. We know it is a huge challenge. We want to make sure we execute things right," he said.

Ratnayeke, a former fast medium bowler of repute who took 73 wickets in 23 Tests for Sri Lanka between 1983 and 1992, said reverse swing was one of the areas his bowlers were working on.

"I think we have done all that we could do to counter attack what w e are going to expect in the Test matches. And reverse swing is one of the areas we wanted to work on," he said.

The island's bowlers were also trying to get used to the ball that will be used in the series.

Ratnayake did not foresee much of a problem with only a few of the players having the experience of playing in India before.

"They have been in the circuit for some time. It is just India is n ew to them. We are touring India after eight years. We haven't won a Test match on Indian soil. That's what we are aiming for, even though th e immediate past hasn't been good".

Asked whether the Sri Lankan team management would discuss with its Indian counterpart about ways of coping with the trans-generational situation which the islanders were now passing through after the retirement of a series of key players, Ratnayake said: "I am not sure about it, but certainly that's an option".

But he said, at a personal level, he would talk to the likes of Indian head coach Ravi Shastri and bowling coach Bharat Arun.

Asked to compare Sri Lankan Chinaman bowler Lakshan Sandakan with India's Kuldeep Yadav, Ratnayake said: "They are very simila r, similar in feet, similar in bowling. Similarly different, I may say."

But he conceded that Sandakan needed to improve a "little bit" on control.

The Sri Lankans were yet to take a look at the Eden Gardens strip, on which they would play the first match of the two-Test series from November 16.

"The Eden wicket that i know of from the long past, has been a good track, and given lot of runs, but at the same time the ball seams also a little bit," said the 53-year-old cricketer.

He said Angelo Mathews would not roll his arm during the Test series, but would bowl during the One dayers.

In view of Mathews' non-availability as a bowler, the Sri Lankans were looking at the likes of Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka and Roshen Silva to fill in the all-rounder's slot.

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