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Chandimal benefitted from psychologist Snape says Jayasuriya

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Sa’adi Thawfeeq reporting from Australia & New Zealand

HOBART: The positive approach shown by Dinesh Chandimal in his batting in the World Cup Pool A match against Australia at Sydney last Sunday has excited Sri Lanka’s chairman of selectors and former captain Sanath Jayasuriya.

“Chandimal proved himself that single-handedly he can do something different,” said Jayasuriya reflecting on his 24-ball half-century that almost turned Sri Lanka’s run chase into a successful one.

When everything was looking up for Sri Lanka, Chandimal was unfortunately forced to retire hurt pulling a hamstring while attempting a second run. He was later ruled out of the tournament and Kusal Perera was drafted into the squad to replace him.

“His injury is a big blow because in Australia he has been performing really well. If you see his past record he has been really good. The way he batted against Australia was his natural game he should continue the way he is batting all the time,” said Jayasuriya.

It was Chandimal’s first strike at the crease in the current tournament as did not get a batting turn against Bangladesh and England as Sri Lanka won handsomely.

“The team has been touring New Zealand and Australia since last December and obviously you’ll tend to get some sort of injuries when you are on tour for such a long time, its natural,” said Jayasuriya.

Chandimal was not only struggling for a permanent place in the team he was low in confidence as he had not got enough opportunities in recent times to make big scores.    

“When you go through a bad patch and when you are not coming out of it you need to get your mind right - the way you play your cricket everything you tend to forget,” said Jayasuriya. “Its altogether not about your batting skills, we practice virtually every day but at the end of the day it comes down to your mind. He has been preparing himself for this game and he batted really well.

“People like me go through a bad patch very quickly the way we play but that’s our natural style so we have to come out of it. Sometimes it might work sometimes it may not but still you have to keep doing it,” he said.

Jayasuriya gave credit to Jeremy Snape, the team’s hired psychologist for working on Chandimal and giving him the confidence that he had been lacking.

“When you are not playing well as a human being you go through a lot of things. Jeremy worked with him a lot on his mind including Marvan (Atapattu) and the rest of the support staff. They did a lot of work with him and at the end of the day it’s how you feel for yourself.  Snape has been working with some of the players individually,” he said.

Snape who joined the team for a period of two weeks ending March 9 was retained by Sri Lanka till the end of the World Cup.

Jayasuriya said that he was really happy the way the team was jelling coming towards the World Cup knockout stages.

“The team is jelling really well no issues. The boys are very keen practicing hard and it’s like a family that’s a very good thing. Since December all of them have been working hard for one cause,” said Jayasuriya.

He was also keen to see that Kumar Sangakkara continues with his extraordinary batting form throughout the tournament. “He is in unbelievable form. I’ve never seen anyone score three hundreds in a row in a World Cup. He is taking on the responsibility and batting right throughout. He is a big strength for the captain and he is delivering, that’s what we want. As chairman of selectors I want him to continue this form throughout the World Cup.”

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