Chaminda Vaas: Sri Lanka will bounce back

Former seamer Chaminda Vaas expected Sri Lanka to bounce back from a dip in form owing to the good quality of players in the squad.

Chaminda Vaas is the bowling consultant for Ireland.   -  K. R. Deepak

Chaminda Vaas may have put on the Irish colours to perform his role of a bowling consultant for the European team, but his heart still beats for his own country Sri Lanka, which is going through a lean phase at the moment.

The 42-year-old – who served Sri Lanka with distinction for 15 long years, capturing more than 750 international wickets and was part of the best phase of the country's cricketing journey, including the 1996 World Cup win – was pained to see his national side's slump following the retirement of stalwarts such as Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara.

“Sri Lanka is not doing well but the team will bounce back. I have seen Sri Lankan cricket for many years, it always bounces back,” said Vaas following a nets session of the Ireland team at the HPCA Stadium here.

Vaas' firm assertion was because of the depth in the Sri Lankan squad, including players like >Angelo Mathews, >Tillakaratne Dilshan, >Dinesh Chandimal, Thisara Perera, Rangana Herath and Dushmantha Chameera. “They have quality players and I hope they will do well in the World T20,” said Vaas.

Sri Lanka will start its campaign in the tournament against a qualifier in Kolkata on March 17.

Bowlers learning

Vaas, nevertheless, is focussed on his present with the Irish side, which is currently playing the World T20 qualifiers. “There are so many strategies and varieties as far as the bowlers are concerned. The guys are professional, they play county cricket. So you have to work on variation and specific skill. The attack is well-balanced. They have played T20 matches and have got the experience.”

Known for winning battles against batsmen by mixing his skills with guile, Vaas said T20 cricket had made the bowlers better. “Cricket itself is a batters' game but the bowlers are learning. When T20 cricket came, everybody thought there is no mercy for bowlers but bowlers are doing well. It is a good contest between bat and ball,” said the Sri Lankan great.