Sri Lankan coach Nic Pothas has mentioned that the debacle against India earlier this year has taught them a few lessons, forcing some internal changes to the side to become a better team. The coach sounded confident about his team and stated that the players will try to avoid similar mistakes.
Sri Lanka did not manage to win a single match during India’s visit earlier in July this year, where India had handed the Lankans 9-0 whitewash in all three formats- three Tests, five ODIs, and one T20I. However, Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas claimed that the players have learnt from their mistakes and improved in many areas.
“Thanks for reminding us now (the defeats). It’s always a pleasure to come here and challenge ourselves against a very very good team. We learnt how Indian team does well and the areas we needed to improve.” Pothas said as quoted by PTI.
After the forgettable series against India, Sri Lanka bounced back and registered a 2-0 Test series win against Pakistan in UAE, before going down in the ODI and T20 series again. And the Sri Lankan coach stated that the unavailability of experienced Pakistan players like Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan in the Test series made it easier for his side to grab the series.
“It was a completely different series against Pakistan. We were there in 41 degrees heat and they had lost two legends. That probably made a little bit easier for us.”, Pothas said.
Sri Lanka is scheduled to have a full tour of India only two months after the 9-0 drubbing, and the coach admitted that they have made changes in this short span. “It’s internal — the discipline, the culture and how the teams stick together. When we took on India, we were all pretty new from the support staff and the players involved,” he said.
Pothas advised his side to focus and trust in their abilities and strengths and not to frighten by Team India. “We focus on ourselves. The mistake you can make here is come and be infatuated with the Indian side and concentrating too much on them. We know they are a good side. But we played them months ago.
“We are concentrating on our strengths and jobs. If we execute them well, it will be a challenging series. Not many teams have come here and won. Sometimes you can get hung up on weaknesses. We go the other way and focus on what we do well,” he concluded.
The first Test of the three-Test match series will start on November 16 in Kolkata, which will be followed by three ODIs and three T20Is.