Karunaratne praises Arthur, eyes top four spot in rankings
Sri Lanka cricket captain Dimuth Karunaratne has described impact of new coach Mickey Arthur on Sunday. He said his side is targeting top-four spot in the world rankings for both the Test and ODI international.
Recently, South African former player Mickey Arthur was appointed as Sri Lanka’s head coach. Arthur was bound on a two-year contract at the end of 2019. Former first class cricketer Arthur has previously been with the national teams of South Africa, Australia and Pakistan as head coach.
“Mickey is a no nonsense cool bloke with loads of experience to back him and his brand,” Karunaratne told Sri Lanka Cricket.
“At the international level, planning and role clarity is a norm. What is very important is the belief he has instilled among us in his own and subtle way. It sure helped and the results always speak for itself.”
After Arthur’s appointment, Sri Lanka lost a two-match Test series in Pakistan but they defeated Zimbabwe at home ground. They are currently holding the fifth position in the ICC ranking.
The team played 8 matches in one-day internationals under Arthur and managed to defeat a dangerous West Indies side 3-0 in their last series before the COVID-19 lockdown.
“Rankings is the key word. I’d say Sri Lanka needs to be in the top four of not just ODI cricket, but Test cricket as well,” Karunaratne, 32, said.
“That would indirectly mean semi-finalists to say the least and you are perhaps two games away from the plum. There onwards, it’s anybody’s guess and if you do well on your day you could end up being World Champs.”
Sri Lanka captain Karunaratne was himself devoted to limited-overs career and lead the side in ODI cricket. He was out of the role before he was brought back last year ahead of the 50-over World Cup in England.
The top-order batsman found success in his individual inning’s. But he was unable to lead his side into the last four of the competition to bounce back victory.