Sri Lanka's short-form specialists Tillakaratne Dilshan and Lasith Malinga, who joined the squad for the limited-overs leg of the tour starting on Wednesday with the first T20I, play a game of football to warm up before practice in Chittagong yesterday. PHOTO: STAR
That the Sri Lankans were all set for the two-match T20 series was understood from the fact that a number of their 'specialists' in the shorter format joined their training camp yesterday.
The likes of Tillakaratne Dilshan, pacer Lasith Malinga and Sachithra Senanayake joined the top-ranked T20 team at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium yesterday.
The secret behind Sri Lanka's good run in the T20s, according to Dilshan, has been the right mix of experience and youth.
“Every member of our team is important. There is Kusal Perera, who is a fine batsman and can put pressure on the opening bowlers with his batting. Sachitra is a great spinner that we found. It forms a good combination (Kumar) Sangakkara and Mahela (Jayawardene). It's a good mix of youngsters and experienced players,” said Dilshan, who retired from Test cricket last year.
The visitors who will be playing their group stage matches of the ICC World Twenty20 at the same venue will look to gain as much experience in these conditions as possible.
“Every single game we play now will be important for the World Cup. We also have the Asia Cup (also in Bangladesh) coming up. We need to get accustomed to the conditions. So everyone needs to grab this opportunity and make the most of it,” said Dilshan.
While the hosts did not stand a chance to win the Test series, which the visitors won 1-0, Dilshan expects a completely different ball game in the shorter formats.
“I think they have been playing good cricket in the last few years, especially in the one-dayers and T20s. They are a better side in these two formats. We know that we have to play our best cricket to beat them on their soil,” he said.
“Also T20 is such a format that one can't make any mistakes. We have to play well on the given day to win,” he added.
Against Bangladesh, the Sri Lankans played just two T20 games, both of which were won by the latter. Their last series against Pakistan in the UAE was drawn 1-1.