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6:17 PM GMT
Madushka Balasuriya in Colombo
As Sri Lanka and the West Indies put together to sq. off within the first of three ODIs on Saturday – which might be adopted by two T20Is subsequent month – the sequence affords the possibility for each side to benchmark themselves as they work in direction of the T20 World Cup later this yr.
For the West Indies, it is a chance to see if they will construct on their spectacular displaying in India in December, once they went toe to toe with arguably the highest limited-overs workforce on the planet. Finally, they got here away on the unsuitable finish of slim 2-1 sequence defeats in each the ODIs and T20Is.
For Sri Lanka, after a chastening T20I sequence loss in India and an underwhelming Take a look at sequence win over Zimbabwe to begin the yr, this sequence affords them an opportunity at testing themselves towards a high quality opposition however aided by acquainted residence comforts.
“We have got some practical targets that we wish to obtain over the subsequent couple of years, and that is the beginning for us,” Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur mentioned at a media briefing in Colombo on Wednesday, forward of the beginning of the sequence.
Arthur, who might be taking the reins of the ODI aspect for the primary time since being employed as nationwide coach, mentioned he was significantly eager to see how his gamers tailored to the newly allotted roles given to them. However greater than that, he was hopeful that good outcomes over the approaching weeks had the potential to offer his gamers some much-needed perception within the course of put in place.
“We’re very practical about the place we’re at in the mean time however we have now some superb targets that we wish to obtain over the subsequent couple of years,” he mentioned.”We simply wish to hold getting higher and higher. All people has actually been given very clear position definitions, so to see how the blokes embrace these position definitions goes to be very, very attention-grabbing.
“Additionally we have to set up what is going on to be our greatest model of cricket and the way we’ll go about that, and hope that we will get some outcomes which is able to give the arrogance within the model of cricket we wish to play over the subsequent couple of years. As a result of in the end that provides you sustainable success, and that is what we’re all within the sport for.”
As for West Indies head coach Phil Simmons, the tour is extra about trying to stick with it the progress that was so evident towards India.
“For the final three months we have been attempting to construct each our white-ball groups,” Simmons mentioned. “We’re taking a look at enhancing. And [at the end of this tour] if we have gotten higher than we have been in India then we may very well be strolling away with the sequence.”
One of many essential areas for enchancment the workforce has been eyeing since that India tour has been of their bowling. Whereas the West Indies batsmen have by no means been in need of confidence, Simmons felt it was within the bowling division that impactful positive aspects may very well be made.
“I feel through the sequence we performed effectively, however we simply had to enhance our bowling. We have been working laborious on that, by way of getting extra wickets within the center overs and issues like that. I feel we have improved and we’ll see what occurs on this sequence.”
The primary ODI takes place in Colombo on February 22.