Ahead of the third One-day International match in Kandy, Indian fielding coach R Sridhar in his press conference revealed before the start of series against Sri Lanka they have had kept in the plan to do some experimentation in the side led by Virat Kohli.
“We will try out different players in different slots to get the best exposure to get the best out of each player. That’s the endeavour of the team management,” Sridhar was quoted as saying by PTI after brief the media gathering.
Following the collapse in the second ODI when India lost seven wickets in the space of 22 runs, Sridhar was adamant in his approach by saying the visitors are looking ahead to give chance to other players in the remainder of the matches in Sri Lanka, as a part of the experimentation process.
“Even before the series started, we all knew that there was going to be some experiments from us going ahead over the next 18 months,” Sridhar added.
As visitors will face hapless Sri Lanka at the Pallekele International Stadium on Sunday (August 27), Sridhar reiterated it has been a significant learning curve to come a long way through owing to the successive run.
“It has been a great learning. The way we look at every game is that we take something into the next game and the remaining part of the series,” Sridhar added.
Upul Tharanga-led side which looked bleak throughout the ODI series was able to give some fight back after the 23-year-old off-spinner Akila Dananjaya bagged 6 for 54.
“Akila Dananjaya bowled brilliantly in the last game. We take that forward, and we’ll make sure we won’t repeat the same mistakes going forward,” maintained Sridhar.
However, the splendid spell was overshadowed by the protagonist Bhuvneshwar Kumar with the bat alongside Mahendra Singh Dhoni which further helped India to lead the five-match series 2-0 following three-wicket victory in Kandy owing to the Duckworth-Lewis Method.
At one stage when India was reeling at 131 for seven, Kumar-Dhoni forged a hundred-run stand for the eighth wicket which according to Sridhar was made things interesting as he believes the team has learned the lesson.
“I think the way the last game shaped up was a wonderful learning curve for us,” Sridhar further added.
The 47-year-old former left-arm spinner Sridhar, who has been India’s fielding coach since past three years hinted the experimentation won’t come to halt as the management has looked for changes.
“It was just an experiment. (But) It won’t stop. [KL] Rahul hadn’t batted in the middle in a one-day game so we wanted to give him that opportunity,” Sridhar remarked.
Sridhar has effusively praised senior campaigner Dhoni for maintaining his body as he is one of the fittest players in the contemporary cricket.
“MS leaves no stone unturned to make sure he is at his best going into every game. He knows his body best and he knows what he needs to do. He is such a thorough professional,” Sridhar mentioned.
Some of the members of the Team India have sweated it out in the nets which included gloveman Mahendra Singh Dhoni, as Sridhar revealed all-rounder Hardik Pandya is also available after calf issue during the second game when he struggled on his follow-through.
As India is eyeing to build-up for the 2019 World Cup, Sridhar is aiming to give his best, as the good fielding side has always played a significant part in the gentleman’s game.