Kandy - Ryan McLaren's attacking mindset has been the catalyst behind his success during the crucial Power Play overs in ODI cricket. He explained his strategy during the hitting frenzy.
The all-rounder bowled a match-changing second over during the batting Power Play in the opening ODI against Sri Lanka on Sunday.
"We know that during the Power Play phases the guys are going to come at us," McLaren, who has taken 10 of his 46 wickets since 2013 during the Power Play, explained.
"I suppose from playing one-day cricket in the past you get used to being pummelled a bit but you have to accept that fact and stay mentally in the challenge and the fight.
"If you take wickets in the Power Play it changes the momentum of the match.
"You can’t do that with a negative mind-set of just trying to block runs, you have nowhere to hide with only three fielders out."
The all-rounder was the leading wicket-taker for the Proteas in ODI cricket last season, but has also been invaluable with the bat, as he showed during his unbeaten sixth-wicket partnership of 55 with David Miller.
"It's the first game of cricket that I have played in four months so I'm quite happy with how it went," he said.
"It makes my role easier when you have David Miller on the other side hitting the ball out of the park.
"Sometimes I have to understand how to complement David in the partnership, I might need to take it on but when he is going like he did yesterday, I just need to be sensible and play around him."
Meanwhile, the squad arrived in Kandy on Monday afternoon ahead of the second ODI at Pallekele on Wednesday.
The victory on Sunday was enjoyed and savoured.
However, the focus has now shifted towards preparation for the second match.
"It’s a good start to the series especially because it's a three-match series," McLaren said of the win.
"History shows that it has been tough to win here in the past so to come back and win the first game like this is important.
"It's a big stepping stone to where we want to take our one-day cricket.
"The hard work starts again in Kandy so it’s important not to become complacent."