Zoysa tips for young Sri Lankan bowlers

“It is a must-win match for us. In the last game, we could not deliver the goods in all the departments, so that’s something we need to address,” Zoysa says, adding that the seniors like Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews will have to motivate the youngsters.

Sri Lanka players during a practice session at The Oval on Wednesday.   -  REUTERS

 

A picture of Lasith Malinga walking at the Oval on Wednesday afternoon became a talking point in the social media. With Sri Lanka taking on India in a Champions Trophy match on Thursday, the cricket fans across the globe were busy discussing whether Malinga will set the stage on fire against Virat Kohli’s men!

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Sitting far away in Colombo, one of Malinga’s former colleagues, Nuwan Zoysa, however, believes that the Lankan bowlers will be put to test against a mighty Indian batting line-up. “Unlike old times, we don’t have many match winners now. Even Malinga is getting old, but even then, he still delivers the goods. Youngster (Nuwan) Pradeep will also have to step up against India,” Zoysa, who is now the assistant fast bowling coach of Sri Lanka’s ‘A’ team, tells Sportstar.

Nuwan Zoysa is now the assistant fast bowling coach of Sri Lanka’s ‘A’ team.   -  A. Manikanta Kumar

 

The former Lankan fast bowler, who played 95 ODIs and 30 Tests for the island nation, also admits that the team is in a transition phase, and there are very few bowlers who can actually bowl perfectly for 10 overs and pick up four wickets. “Such things happen when you have new players coming in. So, it is better to focus on the natural game, rather than feel intimidated about the opponent,” Zoysa says.

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Before the tournament, Sri Lanka roped in South African great Allan Donald as its fast bowling coach, and Zoysa feels that in a crunch game, his tips will count. “You can’t play a game thinking about big names in the opposition. So, when the young guns gear up to face the likes of Virat and Shikhar Dhawan, Donald’s tips will help them,” he adds.

Read: There is no pressure on us, says Mathews

The teams go into the match with contrasting results. While India is upbeat after its one-sided win against Pakistan, Sri Lanka was defeated by South Africa in the opener. “It is a must-win match for us. In the last game, we could not deliver the goods in all the departments, so that’s something we need to address,” Zoysa says, adding that the seniors like Malinga and Angelo Mathews will have to motivate the youngsters. “The newcomers should be encouraged and should be told not to reel under pressure.”

That’s experience talking!

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