An inexperienced Sri Lankan team beat Pakistan 3-0 in the T20I series. AFP

Sri Lanka's 3-0 T20I series win in Pakistan has come as a major shot in the arm for their cricket after ten of their top players remained unavailable for the tour. Not many gave the visitors a chance with plenty of unknown faces in the side but Sri Lanka won the first two T20Is comprehensively and then managed to pull off a close win despite making five changes to the winning combination.

Rumesh Ratnayake, the coach, was understandably elated with the turnaround after the 2-0 ODI series loss. "It was not the weakest team. We chose the best team," he said on Wednesday (October 9). "In Sri Lanka we have about 30-40 good players, so whichever we chose we were most confident of. We believed they could do something at the highest level. We emphasised being fearless and having that belief and also the confidence to take good decisions. Good decisions give you the chance of winning a match. They were fearless and they executed our game plans brilliantly.

"This performance will bring about a huge effect on the spectators, on our supporters, and on the players themselves. Our school system is a very good system. And those [young] players who are watching, the future players will certainly take heart from this and take courage and you'll see a huge impetus in the growth of the game in the future."

Sri Lanka's next challenge, according to Ratnayake, will be to find the consistency they have been lacking. "What we were looking for is consistency. We won here, but as a coach what I'd like to see is do we have consistency in the future. This is just T20, there are two other formats, and we should not be over-awed by this. But certainly, we need to take a leaf from this and that should help us take it to another level in all aspects of the game," he pointed out.

With several other players expected to be back for the tour of Australia, the selectors now have a happy headache of choosing a combination that will challenge the hosts Down Under. Ratnayake praised Asantha de Mel, the chairman of selectors, for taking the bold call of giving opportunities to players who had been on the bench in the first two games.

"Some of them [the players] we wouldn't have seen if Asantha de Mel [chairman of selectors] hadn't taken the bold decision of playing the five players who hadn't been part of the side today. We weren't even sure what combinations we would play, but you saw Oshada Fernando and Bhanuka Rajapaksa in this series because of that."

Sri Lanka's next tour in Australia - where they'll play three T20Is - will start on October 27 with the first game in Adelaide. The next two matches in Brisbane and Melbourne will be played on October 30 and November 1 respectively.