Former England coach Chris Silverwood begins new innings with Sri Lanka

Islanders take on Bangladesh in two-Test series that begins on Sunday

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Chris Silverwood has embarked on the next chapter in his coaching journey, and it promises to be as challenging as the last one.

The former England coach has taken charge of Sri Lanka and his first major assignment is the two-Test series in Bangladesh, which begins in Chattogram on Sunday.

Silverwood was sacked as England coach in the aftermath of the 4-0 Ashes drubbing in Australia, which led to a shake-up in English cricket as Rob Key came in as director of cricket and Joe Root stepped down as Test captain.

Silverwood's new task will not be any easier. Sri Lanka sit seventh in the Test rankings, eighth in ODIs and ninth in T20s. The Englishman is the eighth permanent head coach appointed by Sri Lanka in the past 10 years, aside from interim appointments.

Despite the challenges, Silverwood said he wants his batsmen to score more freely and his fast bowlers to give it their all early in spells.

"It's all about scoring runs and that's what we want the batting line-up to do," the 47-year-old said.

"I'll try and instil 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."

Silverwood said his batsmen need to be brave.

"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," he added.

"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."

As for his fast bowlers, Silverwood wants them to operate with sustained hostility and stressed the importance of bringing the heat early on to put batsmen under pressure.

"I've specifically challenged the Test bowlers to be hot on their first 12 balls, because as we all know the first 12 balls you can make a real impact on your spell as well as put pressure back on the batters," he said.

"I want the Sri Lankan flair, I want the boys to express themselves."

Updated: May 11, 2022, 10:02 AM
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