Ford: SL batsmen face a ‘huge mental challenge’


Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford feels their young batting line up faces a huge mental challenge as they prepare for the three Test matches in England, starting later this month.

The Asian side will return to England for the first time since their historic Test series victory over the hosts in 2014, but this time it will be under different circumstances.

Sri Lanka have lost batting stalwarts Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene and the side has struggled to turn over good results with younger players been given a chance.

Now in his second stint as coach of Sri Lanka, Ford is positive that the batsmen especially will cope with the seaming conditions in the UK.

Ford said: "In our batting group, having lost a couple of senior players, there are some new young guys who have come in.  

"They've worked extremely hard in the last few weeks. We've been fortunate enough in Colombo to train on some pitches that are similar to what we're likely to get in England.

"That's been pleasing to see how those younger players have been adapting to those conditions. Of course it's going to be a huge mental challenge for them, because it is going to be about grinding out big hundreds.

"A lot of that comes from having done it and experience."

The first Test between Sri Lanka and England gets underway on 19 May at Headingley.