Suranga Lakmal, who stood in as acting captain for Dinesh Chandimal for the third test match versus the West Indies, said in an exclusive interview that the team’s mental resolve had soared to win the decisive third test versus the West indies.
“Knowing that the chips were down minus our regular captain Dinesh Chandimal, our mental resolve hardened. As a team we decided that we would perform not just 100 percent but 120 per cent”, Lakmal revealed to Sri Lanka Cricket website.
Following are excerpts of the interview with the 31-year old Suranga Lakmal who has represented his country in 47 tests claiming 114 wickets:
(Q). When you were entrusted with captaining the side in the absence of Dinesh Chandimal following the unfortunate ban on him for ball tampering in the second test, how did you brave that challenge?
(A). It was a tough challenge because we were handicapped without our captain. It was hard on the team. Added to our woes was that we faced a tall order to level the series having trailed the West Indies 0-1. Furthermore, our victory bid in the second test was foiled by rain. All these minus factors only further hardened our resolve to win.
(Q). As the stand in captain how did you look to handle it knowing that the reins were in your hands and that it was a tall order?
(A).Yes, it was a big challenge, but I was determined to lead from the front and deliver.
(Q). And deliver you did leading from the front with those 2 wickets in the first innings and 3 in the second innings.
(A). “Yes, I knew I had to show the way for us to prevail and worked to a game plan.”
(Q). With relatively next to no experience as a captain you did an excellent job. Your comments?
(A). “Yes, but I was entrusted the job and that raised my morale and speaking to the players I stressed the need to raise our mental resolve to perform as a team. That really worked. End of the day, it was a team job in gelling together.”
(Q).Back home the squad had trained long with the Duke ball. How effective was that?
(A).The training with the Duke/pink ball did serve in conditioning the pace bowlers, and it helped us take wickets.
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-