In the year that followed the 2011 World Cup, our performances as a team were too up and down. We struggled to perform with the necessary consistency and this was reflected in our poor results. Fortunately, though, in the past six months we are more settled and are becoming more confident and consistent.
With hindsight, our dip in form after the World Cup was not surprising, given that we decided to introduce some new players and we also had to say goodbye to the great Murali. Youngsters needed time to find their feet at this level and we as a team needed to re-think our strategies.
The pleasing thing for our perspective is that we have made really positive progress in the first half of 2012. We showed plenty of fight and character in Australia during the CB Series and most recently did really well I thought to beat a strong Pakistan team in both the ODI and Test series.
The one big disappointment was the Asia Cup, where we were lackluster and below par. Nevertheless, that does not take the shine of some good results and some early signs that we are heading in the right direction in terms of the team’s redevelopment.
Much of my optimism stems from the growth of our youngsters. Exciting young talents like Dinesh Chandimal, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis and Sachithra Senanayake have all come into the one-day squad and have all impressed. They are all multi-skilled cricketers too which has lifted our fielding and deepened our batting.
Given this development it's going to be a really interesting challenge facing India. We have played against each other a lot in recent years and both teams know that it could be a really tough fight. I’m really excited to see how we react as individuals and as a team.
We may have been focused on Test cricket in recent weeks, but these days we are used to adapting quickly to different formats. As much as anything the key issue is mentally adjusting, and in that regards the guys, who played in the Test series are having a few days off.
The one-day specialists, though, have been training hard for a few weeks. We have also ensured that we all stay together as a group so the guys have joined us in Galle and Kandy during the Test series to practice. That has been really useful and will hopefully ensure we start strongly on Saturday.