Lankan rookies face `huge mental challenge` in England tour: Ford

Johannesburg : Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford has admitted that his side’s inexperienced batting line-up could face a ‘huge mental challenge’ in their upcoming tour of England, but expressed confidence that his players will be braced for the clash.

Sri Lanka would return to England for the first time since 2014,when they clinched their first away series win over Alastair Cook’s side in Test cricket followed by their win in ODI series and a one-off T20 international.

But, Lanka’s batting line-up has been severely weakened following the retirement of key players like Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, Sport24 reported.

Reflecting on the same, Ford said that despite losing a couple of senior players, the rookies have worked really hard for the upcoming tour and that they would surely perform well.

The coach also called on his players to play together as a unit if they want to be on the winning side.

The two sides will play three Tests, five ODIs, and a one-off T20 international, starting from May 19 at Headingley Carnegie in Leeds.

Sri Lanka have named a 17-member squad, including two uncapped batsmen – Dasun Shanaka and Dhananjaya de Silva – for the Test series.

Angelo Mathews (captain), Dinesh Chandimal (vice-captain), Dhananjaya Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Dhammika Prasad, Dilruwan Perera, Dimuth Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Milinda Siriwardana, Niroshan Dickwella, Nuwan Pradeep, Rangana Herath, Shaminda Eranga and Suranga Lakmal. (ANI)