bowlers will hold the key" - Marvan
By Marlon Fernandopulle
Sri Lanka one day captain Marvan Atapattu is ready to unleash his
teams strengths on Michael Vaughan’s Englishmen as the two
teams head for a three match one day series that promises to be
an intriguing contest between the English batsmen and the Lankan
In an interview
with the Sunday Times, the 33 year old Sri Lanka one-day skipper
Marvan Atapattu who has already played 200 one dayers spoke of his
teams preparations, strengths and weaknesses and his strategies
to knock the Englishmen down in the one day series.
How would you rate the England one day team?
A: England is a good team. In the recent past they have
done well despite having a young and new outfit. They beat South
Africa and have fared very well in Bangladesh. They are a good all-round
side. I will be hesitant to pick any individual or say that their
bowling is strong or their batting is strong. They have the players
to do specific jobs and they do it quite well.
How do you think they will fare on sub-continent wickets?
A: It's not an easy task to come down from faster and seaming
wickets to the relatively slower sub-continent wickets. But the
fact that they are coming straight from Bangladesh after a month
long successful tour is going to help their cause to some extent.
I am sure they are aware of what awaits them and will be well prepared
to face the music.
has the preparations been for the Sri Lanka squad?
A: We had a long break after the West Indies tour and started
skills training after the arrival of John Dyson in September. Then
we had the Premier Limited overs tournament followed by the Premier
League tournament. But my worry is that we have not played together
as a team for a long time. I believe it will take us some time to
get into the groove as a team. We were looking at playing a few
practice games to overcome this but the prevailing fickle weather
conditions have prevented us from having such games.
injury concerns at the moment?
A: Romesh was having a hamstring injury for about 1½
months, but has recovered fully. In fact he scored a century two
weeks ago for his club in the Premier League and that is another
indication that he has recovered satisfactorily. Vaas and Murali
also have slight hamstring problems which come on and off, but both
players are fit and raring to go.
Will Kaluwitharana open the batting?
A: We have only selected the squad and have not selected
the eleven. However Kaluwitharana will be in the running for the
openers berth and is likely to partner Sanath Jayasuriya at the
do you think our strengths are?
A:Playing in the sub -continent it is correct to think
that the spinners and the slow bowlers will hold the key. Looking
back at our success here the spinners have played a huge role. I
think that will be the way forward for us. The wickets also should
suit us better than the Englishmen.
The middle order has been a worry for us in the recent past. Do
you think we have overcome this problem?
A: We have been saying that the middle order is not doing
well, but the top order has not been great either. We are so used
to the top order getting runs and being consistent and when that
doesn't happen very often we fail. All in all I think it is the
batting that has been a worry. I just hope that all the batsmen
And what about the bowling?
A: In contrast the bowlers have done well with the seamers
and the spinners doing the needful. In fact it has now been our
strength and I hope it stays that way.
views on the return of Nuwan Zoysa?
A: Fitness has been his problem. It looks as if the guy
has now overcome this problem. And he has also improved in his batting.
This will be very advantageous for us. If he can keep up his fitness
I do not think that it will be easy to keep him out from the eleven.
What are our chances in the three match series?
A: I think if players play to their potential we should
overcome the Englishmen.