Sri Lanka have had a good time in Bangladesh, winning the tri-nation series and Test series.
Sri Lanka head coach Chandika Hathurusingha admitted that his experience with hosts Bangladesh helped him chalk out plans better as Sri Lanka managed to edge ahead against them, across three series - tri-nation ODI series, Test series and now the ongoing two-match T20I series.
Since their arrival in Bangladesh, Hathurusingha's presence in their camp had been a major point of discussion so as to if his three-plus years of experience with Bangladesh as head coach will have any impact. As it stands, it is quite evident that it did with Sri Lanka clinching the Test series after winning the tri-nation series, and they now have an unassailable lead in the T20I series.
However, members of both teams, especially Bangladesh, have been adamant to concede the same while reflecting on the advancement of modern information technologies that makes available all the data of any team in world cricket. Although the data analysts offer immense knowledge gathered from the games played, it would still be difficult to study particular mindsets of players.
The decision to try the unheralded speedster Shehan Madushanka in the tri-nation series final or young offspinner Akila Dananjaya in the series-deciding second Test proved to be a master stroke by the seasoned tactician Hathurusingha, and it was more to do with his understanding of the Bangladesh players. Hathurusingha, who had opined otherwise all this while, finally admitted about the advantages of having coached Bangladesh in the past, on Saturday (February 17).
"I think yes, to be honest. We had some strategic plans for some of the players. We knew how they would react under pressure," Hathurusingha said. "They came very hard in the first two games which I expected. If that didn't happen, I would have been very disappointed.
"I was happy about it and then happy about how we came back as well. All in all, it was a satisfying tour for me personally. Actually, I am very pleased with the response I got from the players. I think it has got to do with the familiarity of being with my country. It helped me to communicate better. It took time but they responded very well to the challenges," he added.
The hosts seemed to be on the right track after they won their first two games in the tri-nation series. However, things went awry after Sri Lanka retaliated.
"I don't think they panicked. They played really well at the start of the tri-series. They put both teams under pressure playing how they know to play. I think they put doubt on themselves after few failures. I was surprised that they went down that quickly," he added.
The experienced coach also mentioned that his boys won't be complacent despite the early lead. "We are not going into any game to lose and we are coming here to win the game. Finishing with a win is [going to] very encouraging for us."