Hathurusingha: Out-of-contention SL capable of beating India

Sri Lanka head coach admits the performance against South Africa in Durham was "disappointing" but is not ruling out the Asian giant from signing off with a win against Virat Kohli-led India.

Sri Lanka head coach, Chandika Hathurusingha, believes his team can beat tournament favourite India.   -  AFP

Sri Lanka's chances of making it to the World Cup semifinals are over, but coach Chandika Hathurusingha believes that his team can still beat India, when the two sides meet in Leeds later this week.

“Nobody expected us to beat England. You never know, we might do the same (against India). We beat them in Champions Trophy (in 2017) when no one expected,” Hathurusingha told Sportstar during a chat on Sunday.

After a poor start to the campaign, Sri Lanka kept its hopes alive, beating England in Leeds, a week ago. But the momentum was lost as it suffered a nine-wicket defeat to  South Africa.

“It’s been disappointing in terms of our performance. I am not talking about defeat, but the way we turned up in the last game was disappointing. We didn’t expect it to go that way,” he said, talking about the embarrassing defeat to South Africa. “We can’t pinpoint one particular reason. We did everything that we normally do. Our preparation was same, there was no difference until the 10 over…

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“We became a different team after we lost two wickets. Someone like (Dwaine) Pretorius comes and rips us apart… I can’t say anything,” a dejected Hathurusingha said.

While he is not keen on thinking about the ‘takeaways from the tournament’ yet, he indicates that there are a lot of factors that led to the side’s dismal outing.

“There are many things (involved), but this is not the right time to talk about them. We are still in middle of the World Cup…” he said. “Our bowling has also not done enough, we have done well only in one game (against England). Twice, we couldn’t get more than one wicket."

Sri Lanka has failed to make it to the knock-out stage in a World Cup for the first time since 1999 and an inquest is sure to follow when the team returns home.

Hathurusingha, however, is not worried about his future. “I still have one and a half years of my contract left…” he said.