Kusal Perera calls for fearless cricket against Bangladesh
Kusal Perera, the newly appointed Sri Lanka captain, has said he would like his team to play fearless cricket if they are to beat Bangladesh in the three-ODI tour.
Perera was named skipper for the three ODIs, taking over the role from Dimuth Karunaratne. He has a young side to lead with Isuru Udana (33) being the oldest member of the group. He wants to sync young blood with fearless approach.
“We have to fearless cricket to win matches. You can’t be fearful about losing. If you’re worried about your place, you aren’t going to give 100%. What I’m going to tell the players is to go and give it everything. If we play fearlessly even when we are practicing, then you will be able to play the same way in a match. That’s what I’ve told the team. If we are fearful, we will fall even further. I’m trying to build a culture where the players have a lot of confidence,” Perera said.
Perera, who idolised Sanath Jayasuriya during his childhood days, has a reputation of playing attacking cricket. His 153* in a one-wicket win over South Africa in 2019 Durban Test is just a reflection of his approach.
“I really like to play fearless cricket personally, and that’s where my success has been. Whenever I’ve played with fear, it hasn’t worked for me. I want everyone else to play like that. You can’t guarantee that you will go right playing this way, but the chances of things going well are greater,” he reiterated.
On applying the method, the skipper said: “But you have to practice well to instill that fearlessness. Because if you are 100% certain about the shot you’re playing, you can play without fear. You need to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Where does the ball need to be for me to hit it? Will I get myself in trouble by hitting there? You need to have that understanding. If you’re a bowler, you need to know which ball can get you a wicket, and which will help you bowl a dot. These things help you play fearlessly. As a fielding unit, you have to carry that same ethos as well, and I have big hopes for the upcoming Bangladesh series about our fielding.”
Sri Lanka defeated Bangladesh 3-0 at home in 2019 series where Perera had notched up a century. They had also won the tri-nation series (including Zimbabwe) in Bangladesh a year before that.