Jeevan Mendis optimistic Sri Lanka will turn things around after New Zealand thumping

Sri Lanka lost to New Zealand by 10 wickets in their tournament opener and will face Afghanistan in their second match of the Cricket World Cup on Tuesday

Jeevan Mendis

It’s a matter of when, not if, Sri Lanka get the injection of confidence they need to ignite their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 campaign. That’s the view of Jeevan Mendis, who watched on as his side fell to a 10-wicket defeat in their opening game against New Zealand at Cardiff Wales Stadium.

Mendis – returning to the fold four years after his one-day debut – feels, with eight games still to play, Dimuth Karunaratne’s men can still advance to the final four.

“We have to say the first two games are very crucial to give all the players and the team a boost,” said the 36-year-old. “We hope we can pull something out of the bag in the next games. The format is good. For all the teams to play each other is great and it gives us lots of chances to get the five wins you need to get to the semi-finals.

Highlights: Sri Lanka vs New Zealand, Cricket World Cup, 2019

“As a batting group, we need to at least put scores of 270, 280 on the board. Hopefully the wickets dry up and our pace and spin variation come into play. It’s all about our confidence and a few batsmen can get in and play an anchor role, we’ll be able to bat around them and play well.”

Sri Lanka will remain in Wales, with their next World Cup outing coming at Cardiff against Afghanistan – the only World Cup contender ranked lower than them in the ICC rankings.

They’ll need to kick the habit of losing wickets in the first 10 overs if they’re to continue their fine record at ICC major events, reaching the knockout stages in eight of the last nine showpieces.

Also read: Batted very poorly, Sri Lanka need to come back strong — Thirimanne

Mendis reiterated head coach Chandika Hathurusingha’s emphasis on keeping wickets in hand early on, allowing powerful hitters Thisara Perera and Isuru Udana to cut loose in the closing overs.

“We always talk about not throwing too many wickets away in the first powerplay but it didn’t happen,” Mendis said. “We always want to score 30-40 runs in the first powerplay and not lose too many wickets. New Zealand bowled well and were very disciplined, so it became a sticky innings for us.

“We need to adapt to score runs at all stages of the innings. We have power hitters who can come in at the latter stage and make quick runs so hopefully the top five can put us on a good platform.”


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  1. Mendis said. “We always want to score 30-40 runs in the first power play and not lose too many wickets. New Zealand bowled well and were very disciplined, so it became a sticky innings for us”.

    “30-40 runs in the first PP & not lose too many wickets” ?? Was this a correct statement or was it a mistake in typing. Anyway scoring 30-40 runs (at a RR of 3.5) and scoring 270-280 runs will never help us to win a single match in this years WC. This shows the negative thinking of our batsmen. They should be more aware of the strengths of all their oppositions. I think all our batsmen up to no 9 position should be thoroughly aware of the Game Plan and the scoring run rates during each of the three phases of the game to win a match.

    If you are targeting 275 runs our batters should adopt a game plan such as

    PP1 0-10 overs 50 runs RR 6.0
    PP2 11-40 overs 150 runs RR 5.3
    PP3 41-50 overs 75 runs RR 7.5 TOTAL 275 runs which is not going to be a winning total.

    They must be thinking of a game plan such as

    PP1 0-10 overs 70 runs RR 7.0
    PP2 11-40 overs 170 runs RR 5.7
    PP3 41-50 overs 90 runs RR 9.0 TOTAL 330 runs This must be a target score our batters should aim at. Even in a worst scenario you will be able to end up with a total of 310 runs where the bowlers can easily defend.

    From the above it clearly shows the negative mind of our batters as well as inefficiency of our head coach to properly educate our batsmen. Hathu’s total inefficiency as a head coach is clearly proved by the very fact how the BD players are performing now (or has improved in the recent past). All our SL cricket experts including SLC higher ups thought Hathu was the reason behind the vast improvement of BD performances. This improvement was totally came due to the commitment and performance of BD players and had nothing to do with Hathu’s efforts. Now it is a well established fact that Hathu is a useless head coach and sooner the SLC get rid of him from the service and replaced by a reputed International coach will only improve the standard of cricket in SL.

  2. lol 30 or 40 in the first 10 and not lose too many wickets ?? thats a real joke .If the plan is to scpre 40-50 in the first 10 , we better be sure as hell that we dont even lose 1 wicket .a plan if 40 would be sensible if it was harsh swinging condition as we expected earlier .However , the wickets are downright flat so far in the wc with little to no seam movement .So we need to adapt and change our approach quickly and target 70 off the first 10 with KJP opening and have dimuth or thiri drop to no.3 .For those who havent noticed yet , No , the pitch we got against NZ wasnt a tough one .It was a batting wicket with about a 300 run par score .There was no swing for boult .There was just a bit of seam movement initially but it was nothing too hard to handle .All our batsmen had it in their head that this was a downright bowlers paradise and hence ended up in a negative mentality .
    Thirimanne played all around a good length delivery on a leg stump line
    Both Thisara and kusal threw their wickets away .
    mendis got a good delivery first up but there was little to no swing or swing movement .Just good line and length .
    Mathews probably got the only wicket delivery that had a bit of swing .But surely they should be able to handle it when its a bit of swing from a 110-120kmph bowler .
    Dananjaya de silva was done by nothing other than locky fergusons pace and the line into the batsmen .His action tends to angle the ball into the right handed batsman .Surely they should have watched and analyse locky to know this ??

  3. How hilarious to see a bunch of big mouthed zero yield walking wickets, repeating their usual some-ups never ever see the daylight ..LoL

    Keep your big foolish mouths shut and do some justice to the WC spots freely granted by your near and dear bosses …. You all are just ruining the joy, pride & hopes of millions in SL.!