“I have spent the last couple of weeks just digging through stats, looking at how we can improve. One of them is the intent to score, we have to give the batters the confidence to go out there and not fear getting out. That is not to say we have to be reckless, what I am saying is we have to bring 'smarts' into that as well. But I do want them to be positive, I want them to be brave. If we go with that attitude, the dot-ball rates will come down and the strike rates will go up, which can only be a good thing,” he added.
Silverwood said that he has asked players to be very specific while training, keep their opponents in mind and practice to suit such situations.
“Rather than just training on a broad scale, every time you come out of that net, you come out a better player than you went in. To do that, you have to consider what challenges you have in front of you, and then go experiment, find a way, make your strengths stronger, and obviously work on the things you might not be as strong at,” he added.
Silverwood also said that he has challenged the Test bowlers to be on the money during their first 12 balls, noting that during first two overs, bowlers can make a real impact and put pressure on batters.
“It is about instilling the discipline that we can do good things for long periods of time and not getting bored of doing them. Hitting your lines and lengths, finding spots on any given pitch, and being able to live there, and then you bring in the skills like wobble seam, etc., and all our guys swing it too, which is great. So, it is just about bringing all those skills together and being disciplined enough to live in one area, where you can wear the opposition down if need be. It will be a gradual process, but if you sow the seed and let it grow, over a period of time you will find that people can do it.”
Silverwood’s first outing as head coach of the Lankan Lions will be the tour of Bangladesh this month, with the team due to fly out on 8 May. The touring party will be travelling with a fairly inexperienced fast-bowling unit in absence of Dusmantha Chameera, Lahiru Kumara and the retired Suranga Lakmal.
Silverwood, though, sees the bright side of it, saying, “From my point of the view, the fact that they are young means that they will take on information more quickly, and maybe try new things as well. The response has been excellent so far.”
He also said that he wants the Sri Lankan flair and the boys to express themselves, “I do not want them to be anybody else, I want them to be themselves and fly the flag for Sri Lanka.”
During the briefing, the head coach revealed that he had spoken to previous national team coaches before accepting the position to gain a more clear idea about his job.
Acknowledging that communication with the players would be a challenge, he said, “Of course, one of the challenges for me will be communication. I have to make sure the plans that I am trying to put in place I can get across to the boys properly. Obviously, Naveed (SL assistant coach Naveed Nawaz) has helped me with it brilliantly so far. Equally, I have got to be aware that the way I see things is not the way someone else sees it, so I have to be aware of how culture works as well, and I have good experience with that when I was working in Zimbabwe. All in all, what we have got here is very exciting.”
Sri Lanka Cricket have roped in Chris Silverwood as their national men's team's head coach for a two-year period.