Sri Lanka v South Africa 2014 - England win puts more pressure on Sri Lanka, says coach | gocricket.com
 

Atapattu: Winning in England puts more pressure on SL

29 Jun 2014, 1525 hrs IST,  ,  gocricket.com  
Atapattu: Winning in England puts more pressure on SL
© AFP
Atapattu credited the team's success in England to a positive dressing-room atmosphere.
Marvan Atapattu, the Sri Lankan head coach, has said that their recent 1-0 Test series victory in England has put more pressure on his team to perform well in the future. With Sri Lanka set to host South Africa next month, they would be playing with a home advantage and Atapattu said they would have to forget the England series and move on.

"The England win is gone, it's only confidence and belief that we get from winning the series," Atapattu was quoted as saying by The Nation. "It's a fresh start for us when you are playing at home. As a player you are a bit more under pressure playing at home. Public expectations are high and that is something you've got to live with when you are in the public eye.

"Winning in England has brought on more pressure but it's a good feeling. When you are playing Test match cricket you got time and over 540 overs to show what you are made of than something like T20 cricket where more luck is involved," he said.

Atapattu, who was appointed Sri Lanka's coach shortly before the team left for England after previous coach Paul Farbrace had joined the England coaching staff, said he was most impressed by the character of his team that ended up winning in all three formats.

"The fighting spirit, the belief and togetherness we had in the dressing-room is what made this team different to previous sides," he said. "It was coming from the time we played the two T20I's against Bangladesh in Bangladesh where we had the result in the last ball of the match."

Atapattu credited the team's success to a positive dressing-room atmosphere. "The dressing-room is one happy place where everyone was honest with their opinions and was allowed to talk freely. Everybody's information was valued," he said.

"We have improved in our skills no doubt going to England in the early part of summer and facing the conditions and the pitches. The players put in a lot of work to adapt and adjust accordingly."

The former Sri Lanka captain maintained that success to him meant doing well in the longer format of the game, as adjusting to shorter versions is easier. "Winning Test matches is the thing for me," he said. "I believe if we can play good Test cricket, the other two formats - in which we are already doing well - becomes easier."

"Adjusting is easier you have so much confidence in you, you have performed well in the longer game which shows your character, patience, confidence and everything that has to comes out for you to be a successful Test cricketer," Atapattu said. "If you can hold your skills, temperament and concentration for a long period of time I can't see why you can't in a short period of time do well in a 120-ball game or a 300-ball game. Winning Test matches is so important for us to grow as a team as individuals and going forward as a cricket playing nation."

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