Pothas laments poor batting in ODI loss

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Interim Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas has pegged the blame for his team’s opening ODI loss to India on the batsmen.

The hosts managed just 216 having been presented a platform of 139 for one, a target that India easily hauled in for a nine wicket win.

Pothas after the loss: “We were 139 for 1. Then we were 77 for nine. To lose nine wickets in 19 overs is in anyone’s language unacceptable.

We’ve got to take that on the chin as staff, as players, and that’s the reality of sport.”

The coach admitted to batting display was frustrating to watch as batsman after batsman got themselves out with poor shots.

He added: “Once again you’ve got to go to the individual. Our job as coaches is to put ammunition in the ammunition belt. Then it’s up to the player to make the decision to make based on his strengths, his reading of the conditions, and his reading of the opposition.

“I think it’s been a huge help for our guys. There’s obviously some that do it better. That’s true in every team around the world. What we do know is that we’re not going to judge the success of that particular strategy in such a short period of time.

“The way we look at it is in longevity, is it going to make us better players on the subcontinent? I think the answer to that is undoubtedly yes. Of course you’re going to get it wrong, but people nick half volleys and nick cuts.”

Pothas is eager to see his charges making the right decisions even if they don’t yield immediate results.

He said: “Yeah, it’s tough. We probably didn’t read the situation well enough. Yes, there were some execution issues as well. What we always try to drive home in the changing room is if you make the right decision but don’t execute, we’re more than happy with that situation.

“Today we were a little bit more on the making the wrong decisions side unfortunately.”

Sri Lanka fans have lambasted the team for its string of below par performances and the coach admits they felt a little embarrassed after this defeat.

He went on: “It swings between hurt and embarrassment. Emotionally you get angry. You get frustrated. Am I angry with the players? Absolutely not. The players work as hard as anyone can ask of them. They’ve been superb.

“Support staff has been out of this world. Brilliant. They work endless hours with planning and helping the boys. You can’t fault anyone within that changing room. Yes, we didn’t play our best cricket today. That’s pretty obvious.”