Given Sri Lanka’s injury woes – particularly to their fast bowlers – Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha has been putting in place a system that will help the team reduce injuries. During Sri Lanka’s eight-day residential training camp in Kandy ahead of the tour of West Indies, Cricket Victoria’s High-Performance Manager Tim McCaskil worked with the bowlers and Hathurusingha is confident that the inputs will help his side in the long run.
“I wanted to get Tim’s expertise. He is more of a fast bowling bio-mechanics expert. He took a look at our bowlers’ mechanics. He went through all the bowlers. He had studied footage before he had come and he was prepared,” Hathurusingha told Cricbuzz after the residential training camp.
Fast bowlers Shehan Madushanka and Nuwan Pradeep have been ruled out of the tour of West Indies with hamstring injuries while Suranga Lakmal is returning after a side strain. Angelo Mathews, who will make a comeback in West Indies after a five month lay off due to hamstring and calf injuries, will only play as a specialist batsman.
“We went through what our bowlers need to do. What stage they are at. Whether they need to change anything. Or if we can not change, what are the areas that we need to strengthen. We have to modify their training or do strength and conditioning. That was very successful. When we get back to Colombo, Tim is going to sit with our medical staff and discuss how to go about things,” Hathurusingha explained.
“The other most important thing in my mind was that our fast bowlers and our fast bowling coaches need to have some kind of a template to work on. That is when we are looking at a bowler, we have something in place to work on. Tim is going to leave that behind with us after the coaches’ conference in Colombo,” remarked Hathurusingha.
Sri Lanka will leave for West Indies later this month with the first Test getting underway at Port of Spain, Trinidad on the 6th of June. They have never won a Test series in West Indies.
“That’s a motivation for us. That’s something that we can look forward to. We are preparing well. The outcome is something that we can not control. If we do what we are capable of doing and adjust to conditions sooner, we can overcome the challenge.”
Apart from McCaskil, the other experts that Sri Lanka Cricket had hired on the recommendations of Hathurusingha such as Peter Sleep (Spin Bowling Coach) and Dr. Phil Jauncy (Psychologist) worked with the players during the training camp.
The theme during the camp was ‘time and place’ and ‘time and space’. Hathurusingha was happy that he was able to tick most of the boxes ahead of the tour with only blemish being the inability to train under lights with the pink ball due to evening thundershowers.
Sri Lanka, who are ranked sixth in the official ICC Test Rankings start as favourites over ninth-placed West Indies.