Legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan believes Sri Lanka has to deliver as a unit in a bid to succeed at the impending ICC World Cup 2019. He hinted Lankan head coach Chandika Hathurusingha and skipper Dimuth Karunaratne should step up for team’s cause.
Since 2016, the Island nation has witnessed a significant overhauling. Consequently, the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) board got overhauled apart from the selection committee.
Interestingly, Lanka has ushered new prime minister for every different series which has somewhat taken a severe hit.
Now, Karunaratne will lead the Lions in England during the twelfth edition of the World Cup.
It’s important to state that Hathurusingha’s role is crucial to keep players focused on the game.
Muralitharan reiterated Hathurusingha had a problem with a couple of players while adding he doesn’t know whether it’s true of a rumour. He said if he won’t be able to gel the unit that he is a ‘failure’ as a coach.
“I think he had a problem with some players. He was harsh on some of them and narrow-minded while making critical decisions. Whether it’s a rumour, I don’t know. If he can’t keep the team together as a coach, then he’s a failure,” Muralitharan told Mumbai Mirror.
Sri Lanka should play as a team: Muralitharan
Interestingly, Muralitharan pointed out that the Sri Lankan team isn’t performing as a unit. He suggested that the Lions shed shrug off while playing on an individual basis.
Besides, he maintained the players should back each other while contributing as a unit.
“Sri Lanka have to go out in the middle as a team, which they aren’t doing at the moment. If there’s one advice I’ve to give to the team it would be: don’t play as individuals,” Muralitharan added.
While speaking about Karunaratne’s leadership role to its length and breadth, Muralitharan maintained he hadn’t seen enough of Karunaratne as a leader.
Although Karunaratne has led the Lankan team in South Africa which didn’t reveal much owing to his leadership qualities, of late.
Karunaratne needs to score runs: Muralitharan
In between, Karunaratne’s hasn’t been the part of ODI team since 2015 when he last appeared against England at Wellington.
“I don’t know whether Dimuth has those attributes. I’ve not seen him enough as a leader. He’s the captain, alright, but first he must get runs. If he’s unable to make himself count as a batsman, he’ll be a weak leader. That said, having a new leader is definitely a huge plus. Often, freshness can do wonders in terms of gelling the unit together,” Muralitharan concluded.
Overall, Lanka is lacking in an aggressive leader, which further made the selection committee ponder before relying upon Colombo-born batsman – Karunaratne.
Sri Lanka will face New Zealand in their World Cup opener on June 1st at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.