Sri Lanka Cricket Interim Head Coach Jerome Jayaratne answered questions from fans submitted via our social media platforms.
We were overwhelmed with the response from Facebook and Twitter, but we tried to narrow them down to provide a good representation of what many fans were curious about.
Questions from Facebook
Q: Eranga Senarath: How are you going to improve the fielding skills of our team and physical fitness of the players?
A: The key to this is just hard work with no short cuts, like a glass of water you only could drink as much as you put into it, the skill training to improve fielding is in motion & the physical training is being handled by Michael Main our trainer who is an professional & you would see improvements happening periodically.
Q: Gaya Jay-luv Jansz: What are your short term goals? A: Uniting as a group of players working as a team and winning the series in all formats vs the West Indies.
Q: Buddhika Wickramarathne: To have a consistent performances and not to expose our guys too we should stop players sending to IPL. Are you willing to have such decisions?
A: The T20 is the most popular format at the moment in Cricket around the World and one must understand this version has come to stay, we need to take that into account and move with the times, I am sure with good governance & management domestically of our players this could be achieved.
Q:Sanjaya Gunasekera: What measures will you take to monitor and improve the players’ fitness levels?
A: There is a whole range of fitness measurements & protocols the SLC Strength & Conditioning unit has put in place presently to monitor the players & their improvements.
Q: Sandun Ganegoda: Do you intend to do a bit more scouting, or just trust the selectors with the choices?
A: We both try to work as a team including the National Captain, sometimes a call needs to be made on a player which may disappoint another, however selectors have the final choice.
Q: Sachith Sena: Some teams depend on their bowlers to win games and some depend on the batsmen. I would like to know how the coach thinks the games can be won?
A: Winning a Cricket match is like a jigsaw puzzle, all need to contribute if the team is to succeed, not all will do well in a given match, some may do well some may not, however at least when it comes to fielding all must try to contribute but that does not mean catches won’t be dropped.
Q: Dhanushka Prabath: will you give Thisara Perara and Kusal Perera to open the Sri Lanka innings in T20?
A: I would not know anything to this question at this moment in time as I have not discussed selections for the T20 format with the National Selectors and me being new to this job
Q: LifeCricket Sri Lanka: If Sri Lanka find older talents to represent the team, the selection committee will give them any chance to represent the country?
A: It all depends how good you really are and if the Country has a decent replacement, Rangana Hearath at 37 years is still playing, however the Selectors would consider other factors when investing in players for the future considering World Cups etc.
Q: Thâšñëęm Thåjüdèéń: After the retirement of Herath, Who going to replace him ?
A: We have around 3 left arm spinners in training and I believe someone would emerge from this pack, however at this point in time it would be unfair for me to mention any names
Q: Dinusha Pallewela: Why we can’t continue wining form in a series ( all the three formats)? If we played well in the first match in a series sometimes next match we didn’t play in well. What are the main reasons for that?
A: Cricket is a game of uncertainty, also good teams who are consistent in winning have great depth in the team which gives them more options & other combinations which may work to their advantage, we now are in a transition stage and will need more time to rebuild, your domestic Cricket tournament structure could play a major part in harnessing players of the future who could be really good.
Q: Mario Perry: Most of our previous Coaches have over-looked the basic batting techniques. When we played school cricket , we had to get in line with the ball and play it, mostly foot work, but these days our batsmen just stay in the crease and swing at the ball without getting behind it. Why?
A: You are correct in your analysis, batting is an science the way I look at it , and I believe that most batsman don’t see it that way, but presently we are working on it so we should see improvement.
Questions from Twitter
Q: @Im_NazirAli : Who will be the next star of Sri Lankan cricket?
A: To be truthful their are quite a few around and it would be difficult to point out one in particular, having said that in test cricket I believe that ‘Dimuth Karunaratne’ will do something special in his career
Q: @KinJam2302: How do you plan to fill the vacuum created in the team post Sanga & Mahela; the crack is too visible.
A: We never give up hope, don’t worry give it some time someone will stand up and get into their shoes, I understand that the Cracks are visible but bear in mind we have lots of talent it only needs to be harnessed correctly.
Q: @salmydx: What’re your strategies in the bowling department, particularly seamer’s? their performance isn’t good except Prasad.
A: One must understand that our build does not replicate the exact fast bowlers requirements, however we have a reasonable number of fast bowlers who are showing improvement and I am confident that for the next few years we should be in a good position, they only need good match experience which would give them the confidence required to do it under high intensity on the big stage
Q: @SLCricketBlog: Could the injury problems faced by SL pace bowlers at senior level be solved by better conditioning at youth level?
A: For sure however unfortunately we are not developed in this area like more developed Countries in the world, we do the best we could with the resources available to us throughout the Country.
Q: @menik_w: What’s your coaching philosophy and how have you implemented it within the team?
A: Good question, my philosophy is that we at Sri Lanka Cricket Coach Players around their natural talent, minute or cosmetic changes may be made if one is to improve his own game and to safe guard him on the big stage, we would not indulge in changing a player for the sake of change.