Colombo: Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan has said his country`s cricketing future lies in the hands of the fast bowlers.
"In the past 20 years or so we have depended on the spin of (Muttiah) Muralitharan for our success," said Dilshan before the team left for the UAE to meet Pakistan in a series of three Tests, five one-day internationals and a one-off twenty20 international.
"Murali is a bowler who can take six to eight wickets in an innings -- we have still not found anyone who can do it consistently as him," added Dilshan.
"The future for our success lies with our fast bowlers. In the spin department only Rangana Herath has proved himself a top quality bowler. If we hope to win Test matches we will have to have the support of the other spinners as well."
Sri Lanka suffered a blow when one of their most promising young fast bowlers Shaminda Eranga was ruled out of the tour with a shoulder injury.
Dilshan said he was not worried that Sri Lanka had yet to record a Test win in their last 11 matches since the retirement of Muralitharan, who ended his career with a world record haul of 800 Test wickets last year.
"We have lost two matches and drawn nine and that is not a bad record," said Dilshan.
"We lost the two Tests to very good sides England and Australia, one of them was due to a poor batting performance at Cardiff and in the other at Galle the toss played a crucial role.”
"If you look back on the rest of our performances I am quite satisfied."
Dilshan said that he was confident his team would be able to end their win drought in UAE.
"Pakistan has a mixture of experienced and young talent in their line-up. I think we can take on that challenge and beat them," said Dilshan.”
Since taking as captain from Kumar Sangakkara, Dilshan played under Australian Stuart Law as interim coach for the tour to England and former Sri Lanka fast bowler Rumesh Ratnayake in the recent home series against Australia.
Sri Lanka have since appointed Australian Geoff Marsh on a two-year contract.
"Marsh is contracted for two years and he is a respected player and coach and I hope we can build on a good partnership and carry Sri Lanka cricket forward," said Dilshan.
"His presence will benefit a lot of youngsters and we can get a lot out of him to develop our cricket. While working together only we can find shortcomings and overcome them."
The first Test against Pakistan starts at Abu Dhabi on Oct. 18.