Avishka reveals how his fitness helped him to improve his game
The 23-year-old hammered a splendid 118 during a Man-of-the-Match winning performance as Sri Lanka clinched a narrow 14-run victory in the first of three ODIs.
“I missed a couple of tours because of my fitness and I tried to learn from that,” Fernando said shortly after the game.
“I managed to improve my fitness. Because of that it’s actually much easier for me to bat and to field. I see a big improvement there.”
“I didn’t do a lot of specialist fielding training but I think when you improve your fitness, everything becomes easier. I think a lot of the improvements to my game are just down to better fitness now,” he stressed.
Fernando also said the familiarity he had with Charith Asalanka having played junior cricket together at different age group levels was a huge advantage to their partnership.
“Since we were 15 or 16 we played a lot of cricket together,” Fernando emphasised.
“We know each other’s games really well. When he’s batting, I might have something to say to him and when I’m batting he’ll talk to me as well. There’s a good connection between us.”
“When he and I got together, we’d lost three wickets, so we talked about batting together until the 41st or 42nd over. We knew that then it would be easier for the hitters lower down.”
Fernando also revealed that the winning total Sri Lanka eventually put up exceeded the score he thought the team should aim for, early in the innings.
“When I started batting, I felt it was a good pitch to bat on and what we had targeted was a score of about 270 or 280. But because we batted well we were able to go past that to 300.”