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  5. 2019 World Cup: Not just Rohit, we have a plan for everyone, says Karunaratne ahead of India clash

2019 World Cup: Not just Rohit, we have a plan for everyone, says Karunaratne ahead of India clash

In fact, their biggest nemesis in recent years has been Rohit Sharma and the captain said they have plans for all the players going into the final game.  

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Leeds (England) Published on: July 05, 2019 20:35 IST
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Dimuth Karunaratne speaks at a press conference

Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne makes no bones about the fact that his team hasn't played on expected lines in the 2019 edition of the World Cup, however, his team intends to go out on a high when they play India in their last group game at the Headingley Cricket Stadium on Saturday.

In fact, their biggest nemesis in recent years has been Rohit Sharma and the captain said they have plans for all the players going into the final game.

"Every batsman have big points. We took a couple of videos, not only Rohit, Virat but all the top six batsmen. We have a plan for everyone. But if you can't execute really well,... the plans aren't working. So the point is we have to execute really well against those batsmen. 

"We know they are really dangerous. Once they get set, they will go for the big ones. So we have some plans, we will be trying to restrict them. And if we can execute really well, definitely we can get him (Rohit) out and early," he said.

Commenting on the plans going into the game looking at an otherwise disappointing campaign, he said: "We have to win the game to end up in the fifth or sixth position, that's our plan. So we intend to do our best. 

"I think here in Headingley we've got some lucky games. If you take the Test matches and ODIs, we did really well. So we're trying to give our best shot against India. We're playing the same track that was used against West Indies and Afghanistan. So hopefully we can get some turn."

Talking about some of the positives for the team, Karunaratne said: "I think if you take the batting lineup -- Avishka Fernando and Kusal (Perera) and the opening pair and some middle order, if you take -- we do well in the middle order the first few games, but if you take the last matches, we capitalised well and we managed to bat really well in the end of the tournament. But I think that it's too late. 

"Avishka Fernando -- he's playing really good, doing really good. He got, in three games he showed that he can do it, he can produce some runs for Sri Lanka. And he's one of the future stars. 

"If you take the bowling lineup, they did really well, especially (Lasith) Malinga and Nuwan Pradeep. They're the good sign. This World Cup those are the things, I feel will go forward. Those are the positive points in this tournament."

The skipper said that while everyone has spoken out about the delay in preparation going into the showpiece event, Karunaratne said that Sri Lanka too had started after the 2015 World Cup, but things didn't pan out as they expected.

"In the 2015 World Cup also we had started to build the side but unfortunately the players who come in, they couldn't perform very well then. And we had to change lots of players. 

"After this World Cup we're going to try and have a special plan and identify the players who can produce or deliver -- if you take the bowling - batting - fielding, and the fitness level, we are looking for a good bunch of players and trying to give them the maximum challenge. And we are trying to identify a good solid 15 players for the next World Cup," he pointed.

Karunaratne wants Lankan players also to play in different leagues around the world and learn from the experience.

"I think if you take the other countries, they played lots of cricket, like the IPL. Also the domestic structure in India, that's really, really good.

"In Sri Lanka, we have only one domestic season. And the players have to perform well. It's their only chance to show up and exhibit their talent in that particular domestic season. We identify the players from that tournament. After that, when you come to the international level, there's a huge gap. 

"So we have to know -- we have to bridge that gap and we have to play lots of cricket, give the players the chance to play -- go play IPL, some Big Bash League or County League. Permission to play in those tournaments will give some experience. 

"So these are a few things I'm expecting from the cricket board after this World Cup. They will make a good decision and make us strong at the domestic level and produce some good players for the future," he said.

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