London: Sri Lanka batsman Kusal Mendis admits that his team is playing catch-up ahead of the World Cup having lost both their warm-up games badly and said the onus is on the batsmen to get used to the English conditions.
Sri Lanka on Monday lost their second and final practice match to Australia by five wickets at Southampton. Before that, they were beaten by South Africa by 87 runs on Friday in their first warm-up game. Sri Lanka has struggled with the bat, scoring 251 against South Africa, and 239-8 against Australia.
“We did not bat very well. There was a chance to get to 300 out there on that wicket but we struggled in the middle overs and lost any momentum (in Southampton),” Mendis was quoted as saying by ICC media. “It was a battle and it ruined the plan we had as a team. We did our best from there but we did not score enough runs.”
Mendis said they needed to work harder with the bowling machine in order to sharpen up. “There are faster wickets here than in Sri Lanka and we will be on the bowling machine to get used to the conditions.”
Expressing confidence of turning things around, Mendis said: “Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga will step it up at the weekend and that will give everyone a lift with bat and ball.” Mendis said every road has its bumps and insisted that the squad will remain patient, citing last month’s terrorist attacks in Colombo as a unifying factor.
“There is a special support here. I am Catholic but some players are Buddhist and then some are Muslims. In Sri Lanka, all religions are the same. We are supporting each other and we have had a lot of support from around the world. We are together as a team and the country is behind us. Now it is up to us to perform,” Mendis signed off.