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‘Conditions similar to back home’ - Hasaranga believes SL are ‘well prepared’

Last updated on 03 Jun 2024 | 03:26 AM
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‘Conditions similar to back home’ - Hasaranga believes SL are ‘well prepared’

It’s now been a decade since the Island Nation last made it to the final four of a T20WC

Sri Lanka skipper Wanindu Hasaranga cut a confident figure on the eve of his side’s first match of the 2024 T20 World Cup against South Africa, claiming that his side are prepared ‘really well’ for the challenges that lie in front of them.

Between 2007 and 2014, Sri Lanka were one of the most successful sides in the T20WC but it’s now been a decade since the Island Nation last made it to the final four of a T20WC. They impressed in each of the last two editions of the competition, but did not have the consistency or experience to make the good cricket they played count.

But this time around, Hasaranga believes a well prepared Sri Lanka can thrive in conditions similar to what’s back home.

“First of all, we prepared really well. We came two weeks early to North Carolina, had practice sessions there and we played two practice matches in Florida,” Hasaranga said ahead of the South Africa clash.

“I think as a team, we prepared really well and the conditions are similar to Sri Lanka. So, I think as a team we prepared really well.”

Despite the solid preparation, the clash on June 3 (Monday) will be a tricky one for Sri Lanka due to the unknown nature of the venue, the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York. The newly-built venue has hosted just one game to date, which was the warm-up clash between India and Bangladesh on June 1.

Hasaranga said that, based on the evidence from the India-Bangladesh clash, he expects a slightly two-paced wicket.

“We saw the practice games against India and Bangladesh, we saw the wicket and it's bounce is uneven; we saw the tennis ball like bounce,” Hasaranga said. 

“I think otherwise, the wicket was good and good outfield as well. So, I think it will be helpful for our bowlers.”

Hasaranga added that his side are ready to embrace the challenge of playing early in the morning — it’s a 10.30 AM start —  but claimed that it’s not ideal for the team to arrive at the ground as early as they are supposed to, which is 7.30 AM in the morning.

“The only concern is we have to come early to the ground. We had to come at 7.30 in the morning because we were so far from the ground. It will take like one and a half hours to the ground. That's the only concern we have,” the Lankan skipper said.

We’ve already seen a couple of slow wickets in this T20WC, ones that have aided spin. In Maheesh Theekshana and Hasaranga, Sri Lanka have two of the best spinners in the world but, in Matheesha Pathirana and Nuwan Thushara, they also have two quicks who have the ability to take the pitch out of the equation.

The Lankan skipper admitted that bowling is his side’s biggest strength, and insisted that Sri Lanka will bank on the bowlers to help the team make a deep run in the competition.

“Yeah, me and Maheesh Theekshana, we are both in top five in the ICC ranking and we have good fast bowlers as well. Mateesha and Nuwan Thushara also played IPL matches in India. We have a very strong bowling attack, so I think that's a key point we have.”

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