Dharamsala: Sri Lanka interim coach Nic Pothas was all praise for pacer Suranga Lakmal, whose 4/13 in 10 overs went a long way in island nation's first ODI win 13 matches as they beat India by seven wickets in series opener.
"Look, Suranga is a world-class bowler. If you give him the conditions that suits him, doesn't matter to whom he bowls, he is always going to make life difficult."
"In his career so far, he had bowled on flat, dry wickets. You give him some greenery, he will be brilliant. In South Africa at the start of this year, he was superb again.
He is a class performer and guts individual and great guy to have in the team."
An elated Pothas said that his team is slowly getting closer to the formula of success.
"We have had guys in this team who have gone through the processes. We have obviously tried lot of people and we are getting closer and closer to a formula we think will be successful for us in the future," Pothas told reporters.
"We are in a nice place. We have built this team up nicely and we can now hand it to the new coach and he can run with it," he said referring to Chandika Hathurusingha, who has been appointed as the Head Coach of the Sri Lanka National Team recently.
Sri Lanka today dismissed India for 112 and then chased down the total with ease and Pothas said his team tried a different strategy against India.
"It is a good place to be. We enjoyed the win. We haven’t had lot of success in white ball cricket. We are at a position now things are quite settled, players understand roles. We used a different strategy and very pleased with the way things worked out for us today," he said.
"Whenever you play a quality team like India, you have to adapt. We have seen historically, if you want to win against India - this game was different but you have to play spin well in the middle overs.
"We acknowledged that we have some very good players of spin, worked around the batting line up a bit. We gave ourselves the best chance," Pothas said.
The coach also singled out Angelo Mathews for special mention.
"Angelo looked great again. He has got his work load in. The physio has done some great work with him. He is not full capacity yet. Angelo is world class performer and the way he handled that situation with the bat showed how important he is for us."
Asked how close Dushamantha Chameera was to getting a game, the South African said: "He was very close but we have got a formula for how we want to play our ODI cricket. It is tough when you have to meet tough selections.
"But that is what we are getting paid, it was a tough call on him. But as I said, Suranga came up with goods and Nuwan Pradeep on his comeback was awesome. We are happy that everything turned out very well."
Pothas said toss and the no-ball dismissal of Upul Tharanga by Jasprit Bumrah were the defining moments of the match.
"I firmly believe that there were two massive moments in the game. It had to be said that the toss was massive in the game and the no ball to Upul Tharanga," he said referring to Jasprit Bumrah’s dismissal of Upul Tharanga on a No-ball in the sixth over.
"If you lose another one we are suddenly 15 for three and that is hugely different situation. We have looked at two situations where for me they sort of defined the day.”
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