India vs Sri Lanka: Visitors' coach Nic Pothas confident current group of players will form a strong team in future

Sri Lanka were finally able to pose a challenge to India in the first Test after being hammered in the home series and that, according to chief coach Nic Pothas, was a huge positive.

PTI, Nov, 20 2017

Kolkata: Sri Lanka were finally able to pose a challenge to India in the first Test after being hammered in the home series and that, according to chief coach Nic Pothas, was a huge positive.

"We did not compete at all in the series in Sri Lanka. We have been very competitive here in the first Test that's a huge positive, credit to everyone in the team and the support staff. We got tougher, we got success in UAE and played well here," Pothas said at the post-match media conference.

Sri Lanka were routed at home 0-9 across three formats by India three months ago but they boun ced back to win two Tests against Pakistan in UAE.

Sri Lanka avoided defeat in the first Test in India despite losing nine Test matches against their neighbours in India. AP

Sri Lanka avoided defeat in the first Test in India despite losing nine Test matches against their neighbours in India. AP

Pace spearhead Suranga Lakmal troubled India in both the innings in a match haul of seven wickets and it was Virat Kohli's unbeaten 104 in the second innings that swung the momentum in the final two sessions.

Pothas said the side which is in transition after the departure of two legends — Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara — are up for the challenges.

"Process began in Sri Lanka absolutely. Things like that do not happen overnight. We are certainly not going to be counting our chickens... We played a couple of good Tests against Pakistan, were competitive here but we have a long way to go. This side is going to be a very good side looking into the future there's no doubt."

Sri Lanka however collapsed to 75/7 in their second essay with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami unleashing their fury but it did not bother Pothas.

"It's always a concern when you lose seven wickets. But the more often you play, I think these two series back to back against India will help in making of the Sri Lankan team of the future.

"You become better when you play against a quality team under pressure. It's a concern but I'm more excited about how we fought and came out of it, looking back at all four days."

Despite little to play for after two rain-curtailed days, India and Sri Lanka played hard for a win with words being exchanged frequently on the field.

"It's fantastic, isn't it? It's Test match cricket. It's a tough environment, it's a cauldron and that's how players earn respect from each other. I thought it was played fantastically well. Very tough, high pressured game."

"We bowled very well, we fielded very well and the intensity was good. We did have India under pressure. Virat played a fantastic innings to set up a very good game of Test match cricket. I don't think anything went wrong. It was a very good cricket from both sides," he concluded.

Published Date: Nov 20, 2017 | Updated Date: Nov 20, 2017




Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4969 124
2 South Africa 3767 111
3 England 4497 105
4 New Zealand 3489 100
5 Australia 3294 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 6386 120
2 India 6546 119
3 Australia 5948 114
4 England 6156 114
5 New Zealand 5432 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 2843 124
2 New Zealand 1925 120
3 West Indies 2395 120
4 England 2029 119
5 India 2965 119