It’s like a final for us: Ford
Pallekele, Aug 4: Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford spoke about the need for communication between the captain, coach and team ahead of the fifth ODI of the series against India. He said his boys would like to finish off on a winning note as this is to be their last game in the 50-over format for a while.
Excerpts from his pre-match television interview:
On motivating oneself to play despite having lost the series
We are disappointed to go 1-3 down at this stage. That is always tough. Energising and keeping the players motivated is important. The good thing about the Sri Lankan team is that they feel really privileged to represent their country. It’s a new game and a new day, we don’t play ODI cricket for two–two-and-a-half months, so for us, in a way, it is a final. Everybody wants to finish off this period really well. It would be good for the next two-and-a-half months if we can finish off with a good win.
On the role of the coach, vis-à-vis the captain, in terms of decision-making
We definitely try to work on collective decision-making so some discussion and some debates [do happen]. Sometimes there is no time for that. [We look to have effective] communication [between] the captain and coach [and the team] wherever possible. The other night we perhaps got it a little wrong in terms of taking the Powerplay and the communication wasn’t quite there. We try to emphasise the importance of communication. At the same time, you want your players to be thinking on their feet and taking decisions and backing themselves to make bold, strategic decisions which might make a difference in the game. But [if] possible, [we encourage them] to get a second opinion, particularly if they can get a second opinion from the captain or from the coaches.
On whether the coach sends across suggestions to the captain during a game
When our team’s in the field, we are fortunate enough to have one of the greatest captains around so I am pretty relaxed to leave most of the decision-making to him. Maybe from time to time the coaching staff sends a suggestion or two but mostly it is left to the captain. [...] These days the suggestions are changing rapidly and from time to time messages do go out. It is also important to get messages back from the centre. We have some experienced players who have got a good knowledge of the game and conditions, so it is important to get information back from them. The coach and captain [can then] plan accordingly.