Tharanga wants patience and support from Sri Lanka fans after India debacle
Sri Lanka white-ball captain Upul Tharanga has called for patience and support from the fans following their humiliating Test series defeat to India.
Tharanga will lead Sri Lanka in five one-day internationals and one Twenty20 clash against India, having been whitewashed in the three Tests under the stewardship of red-ball skipper Dinesh Chandimal.
After losing the opener by 304 runs, Sri Lanka were beaten by an innings and 53 runs and an innings and 171 runs in the final two games.
Chandimal labelled the defeat the "worst series ever" but Tharanga is confident Sri Lanka can bounce back in the limited-overs meetings and is adamant the right steps are being taken for the team to be successful.
"Every team goes through a rough patch," he said in a statement on Sri Lanka Cricket's official website. "This is something that happens in cycles to every team and every nation no matter how great a cricketing nation they are.
"Sri Lanka dominated in all three formats for a good 18 years – don't forget this now when we are going through a rough patch.
"Obviously there are some things we can't openly discuss due to strategic reasons but there are certain areas behind the scenes that need to fall into place for us. These areas are being taken care of, and we are seeing the results behind the scenes – however it will take a little more time for it to be seen externally, so please have patience, and most importantly have faith.
"Sri Lanka have always been stronger in our white-ball format, and I am confident that we will come out strong and beat India. We have the talent, we have the skill. We have been putting in the hard work, we just need the spirit, and for that we need your support too.
"The support of our fans plays a big role in the morale of the team. 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.
"Yesterday [Monday] despite the defeat, we saw spectators cheering us and applauding us – this is what we need."
Sri Lanka named their squad for the limited-overs series on Tuesday, with all-rounders Thisara Perera and Milinda Siriwardana recalled.
Sri Lanka ODI/T20 squad: Upul Tharanga (captain), Dushmantha Chameera, Akila Dananjaya, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Vishwa Fernando, Dhanushka Gunathilaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamara Kapugedera, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Thisara Perera, Malinda Pushpakumara, Lakshan Sandakan, Milinda Siriwardana.