Sri Lankan fans have been unhappy with the ODI side for almost two years, that's very clear. Throughout this period, the fans expressed their consternation with a small protest in Dambulla, throwing empty plastic bottles at the camp in Pallekele and with the most popular insult of this decade: the meme of social networks.
Disenchantment with the team and the nation's cricket establishment was perhaps highest last year, when Thilanga Sumathipala and Sanath Jayasuriya forged a tremendously unpopular association as chairman of the board and head of selection. But the ODI team has not exactly changed their form, since both made their exits. With 32 defeats from the last 42 ODI completed now, even the youth players who make their way to the side, like the 23-year-old hitter Sadeera Samarawickrama, have to deal with public discontent.
"I know that the spectators must be very disappointed by the way we have played," said Samarawickrama before the fourth ODI. "But we also want to turn it around, we want to see the fans happy, we want to go from a losing mentality to a winning one."
That the World Cup is on the horizon is, of course, particularly worrying about Sri Lankan fans, with the hope that the team will be able to achieve form when the big tournament arrives in June. For Samarawickrama, however, the World Cup is too far away to worry about yet.
"If we think too much about the World Cup at this time, we will be under more pressure when we get to the next game," he said. "So, what we have to do is take it series by series and game by game as a team, we still have three series before the World Cup."
On a personal note, Samarawickrama was pleased to be offered the initial position, having scored most of his domestic careers as a starter, and it seems that he has been given assurances that he will remain in that position, for now. He is the fifth batter to have played in that position this year for Sri Lanka, with Kusal Mendis, Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka and Niroshan Dickwella being the others.
Samarawickrama's first career on paper produced mediocre performance. 35 of 34 balls in a game on 21.
"I really like to open the tickets, when they told me that it would open, I have a lot of confidence, it's not that I do not like to hit intermediate order, but I like to play at the top I was able to handle the pressure because in the recent past it's when I've been opening that I've scored a lot of races, I took that confidence forward. "I did not think I was playing against England, nor did I think too seriously about that. I just did the basics. "