World Cup 2019: Mental preparation key against England, says Karunaratne

Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karuratne urged his batsmen to approach Friday's World Cup 2019 match against England with a positive mindset.

Dimuth Karunaratne admitted that his team has not been strong mentally.   -  Getty Images

Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne thinks the team can make it to the semi-finals of World Cup 2019 if “everyone lifts their game” against England on Friday at Headingley.

“All the members have performed well in the recent past. We played against India in the Champions Trophy (in 2017) and won it. We have almost the same side, barring a few guys. So, we have the ability to do it, but only thing is we are not mentally strong enough these days,” Karunaratne said.

England batsmen have been in top form in the tournament as the host posted four 300-plus scores in its five games so far. The Lankan captain said that his side's target is to restrict the home team under-300.

“England are a good side. They have a good batting line up, so we need to (restrict them to) less than 300. We have a couple of plans against their batters,” he said.

“Our middle-order should take some responsibilities. If England scores more than 300, we should be able to chase that. Those are the key things we have discussed,” he added.

For Sri Lanka, middle-order has been an area of concern, which collapsed dramatically in the matches against New Zealand and Australia. Karunaratne urged his batsmen to put the past defeats behind them and approach the remaining four games with a positive mindset.

“Main thing is we have to prepare ourselves mentally. We have lots of talent, who have done good things for Sri Lanka in the recent past. The only things is, they must try to come with a good mindset and that’s the key,” he said.

“There is no point talking about the past matches or the results. It is about what are the key areas we need to improve. There are four games left and we have to be positive,” the captain said.

Placed sixth on the table with four points, Sri Lanka needs to win all of its four remaining matches to keep its semifinals hopes alive.