We have to fearless cricket to win matches: Kusal Perera

Newly-appointed Sri Lankan ODI skipper, Kusal Perera, has said that the team needs to play fearless cricket if they want to win more matches. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has announced an 18-member squad for a three-match ODI series against Bangladesh. The three matches of the series will be held on May 23, 25, and 28 in a bio-bubble. While Perera will captain the team, Kusal Mendis has been named as his deputy.

ESPNcricinfo quoted Perera as saying, "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 per cent. 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."

"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," added Perera.

The Sri Lankan squad will reach Dhaka on May 16. After finishing a three-day quarantine, they will take part in a three-day practice match on May 21.

The new Lankan captain stated that it is important to practice well to instill fearlessness. He further explained, “If you are 100 per cent 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."

In July, Sri Lanka will play three ODIs and three T20Is against India. BCCI President Sourav Ganguly recently confirmed that India will tour Lanka for a limited overs series.

--By A Cricket Correspondent