Colombo, Sep 7: Sri Lanka interim coach Nic Pothas has likened Team India with New Zealand's national rugby team 'All Blacks' for being a ruthless side and the work ethics followed by the Virat Kohli-led team.
Pothas believes his team needs to learn from the work ethic created by the Indian skipper who commands a lot of respect on the field as a leader.
India completed a tour sweep on Wednesday (September 6) by winning the lone T20I match by seven wickets. The visitors had already swept the Test series 3-0 and the ODI series 5-0.
Heaping praise on India, Pothas said: "First and foremost we've got to put everything in perspective. We're a side that's developing. India are a side that is complete and a side with immense quality. It's always going to be tough to compete against them or to try and beat them.
"We just maybe needed to compete a little bit more. I think it would be wrong of us not to learn from them. They do so many things very well. Most of them are just basics.
"You see how Virat Kohli runs between the wickets. You see the respect he commands on the field as a leader. He's a role model to people and he pulls people with him. When you look at the way they go about their work and the culture that Virat has created within that team, it's very, very impressive. I'm sure it's a great compliment to him, but it's a fact," Pothas told reporters after Sri Lanka's T20I loss against India.
Comparing the current Indian side with New Zealand's rugby side All Blacks, the former wicketkeeper said,"You look at their team and they are very All-Black-like. There's a lot of respect for the opposition. They are very ruthless in the way they go about their work. Their work-ethic is immense. They are what a lot of teams aspire to be. The most important thing for us is learning from our mistakes, but most importantly, learning from them."
Rugby is regarded as New Zealand's national game and All Blacks is one of the best teams in the world. They are famous for their ruthless and attacking game. They are ranked first in the world and their lowest ranking was 3 in 2003 - this shows what kind of side they are. All Blacks have won the last two Rugby World Cups, in 2011 and 2015.
Sri Lanka put on a 171-run target and lost their way in the middle overs despite an attacking start. Pothas said it was a competitive total, even if Lanka were few runs short.
"It was a competitive total. But if you looked at how we played, we were probably 15 short of what we could have got on that wicket. We probably had a few too many little cameos that we could have dragged on a little bit longer," he said.
"170 is probably competitive but when you play a team of such quality, you're going to have to be very good in the field and with the ball to try and stop that being scored."
It has been a sharp downturn for Sri Lanka in the past six months or so. They have been unable to achieve home victories against Bangladesh, Zimbabwe or India.