Chris Silverwood, Sri Lanka’s new head coach, said in his first news conference after assuming the job that his focus will be on batting and scoring runs in a “free” and “brave” way.

“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,” Silverwood said. “That’s not to say we have to be reckless; what I’m 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. It’s all about scoring runs and that’s what we want the batting line-up to do. I’ll try and instill some confidence into the boys so they can go out there and construct their innings and score big runs, certainly in the first innings, and give us something to bowl at. It’s not rocket science. We want more discipline in the batting, more patience in the batting and some intent to score as well.”

Silverwood has instructed the bowlers to concentrate on the “first 12 balls” they bowl, which he claims has a significant influence on batsmen.

“I’ve specifically challenged the Test bowlers to be hot on their first 12 balls… because as we all know, (with) the first 12 balls you can make a real impact as well as put pressure back on the batters. It’s 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’s 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’ll 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.”

© Cricbuzz