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Sri Lanka Coach Mickey Arthur defends prioritising young players, says door not closed for seniors

After becoming the face of the first series loss to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur has defended the move of prioritising young players for the ODI tour of Bangladesh. 

He said that the door of the selection process is not closed for anyone and they can come back on the back of strong performances but meanwhile Sri Lanka have adopted an approach that will serve the team well over the next couple of years leading up to the World Cup in 2021.

''Dropping is a harsh word. We have looked at a way we can go forward without them (the seniors). There's no dropping. The guys can come back at any given time,'' Arthur told reporters. 

He said that although the tourists dropped the likes of Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal, the team still has Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perera with a lot of international experience along with the players like Niroshan Dickwella and Dhananjaya de Silva who have had a fair bit of exposure at international level as well.

''We have lacked a little bit through the middle, but we have some senior players. Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis have played a lot. Dickwella and Dhananjaya de Silva have played a fair amount. Those are the guys we are banking on to become those players. The doors are not closed on anybody. Certainly some senior players can come back at any given time depending on performances. 

''We are trying to create depth within our side. Everybody puts pressure on each other, so that they can become the best that they can possibly be. This is a young team which we are building up to 2023. We can back them, but we need something back to show that we are on the right track to take them forward.”

Notably, batting coach Grant Flower pointed out the difference between the two sides in terms of experience in the batting lineup and called it one of the factors behind Sri Lanka’s series loss.

Discussing the series loss against Bangladesh, Arthur expressed astonishment over Sri Lankan batsmen’s inability to counter the Bangladesh spinners as he has seen them handling spinners very well while practising. He pointed out that maybe the ‘fear of failure’ or pressure situations got better of them in the first two ODI of the series. 

''We battled to come to terms with the spinners, which is very surprising for me. The batsmen I see out in the nets are totally different to the batsmen who have gone out in the middle. Whether it is performing under pressure or fear of failure - those are the things you have to take out of your mind. They are all very skilled batsmen, particularly against spin. They haven't shown that yet, but I am looking for a really good performance tomorrow.

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India's road to WTC Final

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The hosts produced an all-round performance during the course of the series winning both the matches by an innings. They first defeated the Bangla tigers by an innings and 130 runs in Indore and then followed it by a win in the pink-ball Test. India defeated Bangladesh by an innings and 46 runs in this match. India opener Mayank Agarwal scored 257 runs in the series, most by any batsman while captain Virat Kohli became the first Indian player to notch up a ton in the day-night Test. New Zealand vs India India toured New Zealand in the starting of the year 2020 and suffered a 0-2 defeat in the two-match Test series against the Kiwis. New Zealand won the first match in Wellington by 10 wickets while the second that was held in Christchurch by 7 wickets. The Indian batsmen had a struggling time against the New Zealand bowlers. 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