Upul Tharanga, who has been appointed as captain of Sri Lanka for the five-match ODI series against India starting in Dambulla on Sunday, acknowledged that his team is going through a "rough patch" and called for support from the fans to lift the morale of the players.
"Every team goes through a rough patch. This is something that happens in cycles to every team and every nation no matter how great a cricketing nation they are. The support of our fans plays a big role in lifting the morale of the team," Tharanga said.
"We play for our country and our goal is to bring pride to our family of 20 million in this nation - so your support is something that matters greatly to us," Tharanga added.
Tharanga endured a horrendous Test series against India, scoring only 88 runs in six innings, which Sri Lanka lost by a comprehensive 0-3 margin.
But the upcoming series will be the left-handed batsman's first in-charge of the team after Angelo Mathews gave up the ODI captaincy post the 2-3 loss against Zimbabwe at home in July.
While Mathews is still part of the squad, seasoned pacer Lasith Malinga has also made a comeback. There are two other changes from the Sri Lankan squad which featured in the last three ODIs against Zimbabwe.
Pacer Nuwan Pradeep and all-rounder Asela Gunaratne are out due to injuries and their places in the side has been taken by young fast bowler Lahiru Kumara and left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara, who both featured in the recent Test series against the Indians.
Sri Lanka last played India in an ODI series in November 2014-15 (in India) and were blanked 0-5.
The Islanders, however, upset India in their group game at the Oval in the recent Champions Trophy.
Sri Lanka ODI Squad: Upul Tharanga (Capt), Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Chamara Kapugedera, Milinda Siriwardana, Malinda Pushpakumara, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Thisara Perera, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lasith Malinga, Dushmantha Chameera, Vishwa Fernando.
(With PTI inputs)