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All is not lost despite World Cup debacle, says Sri Lanka’s chief selector

Talking of the positives the team achieved in the World Cup De Mel said, “In the batting little by little we are getting some sort of a base that is something good. Lasith (Malinga) has been bowling really well and Dhananjaya de Silva has done well. Isuru Udana and Nuwan (Pradeep) also, until he went down with chicken pox. The team has been getting into some sort of a form and should be good enough for the next series against Bangladesh at home. This could be the starting point.

“There is a base to start with. It is there now. I’ve looked at the players, from the ‘A’ team and Emerging and Under 19 there is a base. That has to be developed and there has to be patience. If you try to do a Maggie noodles kind of thing it won’t work. You can’t put it in and take it out, it won’t work. These players have to be given opportunities and if you want them to improve they must have at least 40-60 games under their belts. Our players don’t have that.

“Avishka (Fernando) has only 9 ODI appearances, Kasun Rajitha 7 and Isuru Udana 12 although he has been in the system for so long. The games they have played is very little. Unless you play and learn that is the way to go forward. You cannot sit in the dressing room and learn how to play. These players must be given the freedom and confidence to play. We must play the brand of Sri Lanka cricket that we are used to – the positive way, not blocking and waiting. Their mindset must be positive, believe that you are good enough and play your normal game. Most of it at the moment is a lot on the mindset,” De Mel explained.

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