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November 5, 2022
Chris Silverwood | Post Match Media Conference

Sri Lanka Cricket

Q. How was that experience for you; must have been a weird one in many ways?

CHRIS SILVERWOOD: To be honest, I’ve been asked that question obviously a lot in the last few days. To me, it’s just another game. That’s how I viewed it.

It was nice to catch up with some old familiar faces. Obviously I’ve still got a lot of friends in that camp. But today was about obviously trying to win and doing all the preparation we had to do to give us the best chance of doing that.

Also a big part of it was watching the team continue to progress and develop the methods of play that they’ve been doing well over the past few months.

So as disappointing as losing it is today, I saw a lot of character in my boys out there finding ways of getting into the game. And we pushed England.

Q. Did you think you were going to do it there at the end? It was getting quite nerve-racking, wasn’t it?

CHRIS SILVERWOOD: It was. But you’d have to say Ben [Stokes] had it under control out there for quite a period. If we could have maybe nipped it, got one more wicket there, it would have made things very interesting.

Q. Having won the Asia Cup in different conditions, what were the biggest learnings you took from this tournament, and you talked about the team to continue to build and grow?

CHRIS SILVERWOOD: I mean, obviously it was great for the group to win the Asia Cup. It was great for the country as well with everything that we’ve been going through. To actually put a smile on their face was fantastic. And the support we’ve received from everybody obviously back in Sri Lanka has been great as well.

But to me, the methods that we put in place which started in the white ball series in Sri Lanka before we went to the Asia Cup, just to see things progress there, building partnerships, making sure we know when to attack, when not to attack with the ball, when to squeeze, and putting an aggressive slant on it with a Sri Lankan stagger, so to speak. That’s what I wanted, I wanted them to be themselves, go out, express themselves, and continue to develop as they are.

Q. Is one of the things you need to look at when you get back to Sri Lanka is the occurrence of injuries you had, do you think there’s something deeper in the game that needs to be addressed or just been bad luck?

CHRIS SILVERWOOD: It’s probably been a little bit of bad luck in there and things we probably need to address as well. But certainly there will be questions, myself, my staff and obviously the hierarchy back in Sri Lanka will delve into.

I’m not going to go into too many of them right now because obviously that would be unfair. But certainly there are things we will be looking for, what can we do better, how can we improve on that, because it makes life difficult when you pick up so many injuries. But how do we minimise that?

Q. Chris, this is a game to be played on that pitch, was there any consideration to play a third spinner, just given the way it was going to slow up?

CHRIS SILVERWOOD: We always had obviously three spinners in the group anyway. And Charith, a good backup there. To go with the extra spinner would have looked very unbalanced. Had it not worked, we would have been stuck. We wanted to make sure we had a bit of variety in the attack as well.

Q. That was probably your best fielding performance of the tournament, wasn’t it? Is that anything to do with the pressure being off a little bit?

CHRIS SILVERWOOD: Maybe. Fielding is something that we need to work on. We’re not going to shy away from that. It’s not something that we’ve hidden from either, talking to the press, anything like that. It’s an ongoing process and something we must get better at.

Q. And we saw both innings follow a similar pattern, runs were much easier against the hard ball. Were you surprised by how batting became for both sides?

CHRIS SILVERWOOD: Not really because we saw it a little bit in the game that we played on it before and having watched obviously the previous game that was played on there as well.

We knew that when a ball got older, it was going to start sticking in the wicket a little bit and holding up. We thought if we could have got 20 more runs, maybe 160 would have been a very competitive score there.

Q. Next World Cup India, friendly conditions, what do you think about that?

CHRIS SILVERWOOD: I think the conditions we’ll be used to. It will help with that. But at the same time, there’s things that we have to continue building on.

Obviously fielding, we’ve just touched on. There’s things we need to work on going into that as well. And certainly things we’ll be reviewing when we get back, when we sit down, have a debrief, have a look at where we need to improve.

Q. Given the tough time you had out here during The Ashes last summer, how do you feel about Australia going out of the tournament?

CHRIS SILVERWOOD: I don’t feel anything, to be honest. That’s not my concern.

Q. Now that you’re out of it, who do you think is favoured to win it?

CHRIS SILVERWOOD: I think at this stage any team can win, to be honest. See who turns up on the day. Obviously I wish England all the luck. I’ve got so many old friends in there. But I think it’s whoever turns up on the day. There’s some good teams in there.

Q. Kusal Mendis seems to have turned things around. It was a huge call a couple of months back to give him the wicket keeping gloves and to get him to open the innings. He’s just finished the tournament as the highest run getter. That must be pretty pleasing?

CHRIS SILVERWOOD: It is. I mean, obviously he stepped up there. He’s got up to the top and kept tidily. And we’re very pleased with him. I’m very pleased with the top quarter in general, the way they built the platform for us, to go from the power that we’ve got so five, six, seven left.

But what they’ve done, I think they’ve grown. They’ve developed the method of playing, which is to build that platform to build partnerships. We don’t have the power of some of the other teams. So we have to run people ragged. That’s what we try and hit pockets. But we are developing an understanding of what suits us and how we can play.

Q. A word onWanindu Hasaranga? Highest wicket taker at the last World Cup and the highest wicket taker in this World Cup.

CHRIS SILVERWOOD: He’s a match winner, isn’t he? You’d pay money to watch him. He’s a good player.

Q. Parthum Nissanka played pretty well today. He seems to have been a guy who has progressed really well over the last 12 months. Since you took over, how impressed have you been with him?

CHRIS SILVERWOOD: Very impressed. Again, we’ve seen him go from strength to strength. It’s not always been easy for him. But what he does, he fights hard and works hard in the nets. Practises well, practises with purpose. You see that coming out in his game now. All the runs he’s scoring will give him confidence. Hopefully that will gel that top order all together.

Q. Ben Stokes has had a kind of difficult time with the bat. Got England over the line today. You know all about his qualities. How important is he for England for the rest of this tournament in the knockout stage?

CHRIS SILVERWOOD: Firstly, there’s a lot of good players in that England dressing room. But Ben has been the talisman over the last few years, hasn’t he? I think getting the team over the line will build his confidence. It’s all about peaking at the right time, really. So watch his space because you never really know, do you?

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