After conceding 622 runs in the 1st innings of the 2nd Test again India at the SSC, Sri Lankan opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne said that perhaps the lack of patience is what has led to the hosts’ bowlers’ poor performance.
India became the only visiting team in history to make 600+ scores in two consecutive Tests in Sri Lanka, notching up 600 in the 1st Test in Galle and 622 here at the SSC. In fact, no other visiting team has even breached the 500 mark on two consecutive occasions in Sri Lanka. When queried on the reason behind Sri Lanka’s disappointing performance with the ball, Karunaratne said,
“Maybe they (bowlers) are trying to do variations. Maybe they were a little less aggressive. In Test cricket all best batsmen play, and we have to bowl intelligently. We have to bowl on one side and set the field. It takes 10-15 overs to get a wicket. In the domestic level sometimes you can get five wickets from five overs. International cricket is very different, and we need to get used to that. Like it’s tough to get a run, it’s also difficult to get a wicket. We need to learn how to bowl one side of the wicket and to our field. We need to get a mistake out of them.”
Speaking at the press briefing held after the end of the 2nd day’s play, Karunaratne pointed out that the Indian bowlers had been much tighter when compared to the Sri Lankans and as such, it was very difficult to score runs off them.
“We bowled well here, but in patches. We bowled a few short balls. I don’t think we will get short balls from the India team. Maybe once in five or six overs. We made a few little mistakes with the ball – the short balls especially. It became easy for them. When the runs are flowing it’s difficult for a captain to set the field. He will have to spread it. Pujara and Rahane then worked the singles. That’s the main reason they got over 600”
Sri Lanka’s woes were personified by the loss of the only paceman in the game Nuwan Pradeep, who has been ruled out of the rest of the series after he sustained a hamstring injury late last evening.
Despite this, Karunatne was hopeful that Sri Lanka would be able to put up a fight and perhaps save the Test.
“We all want to wave the Test match. In the first 10-15 overs with the ball hardness it is not easy to bat. After the hardness is gone I think the help is not there for the spinners. Chandi and Kusal batted really well in the last few overs. We have to play positively. Sweep and reverse sweep. Last time when we played in Galle Chandi got 160-odd scoring a lot of runs off the sweep and reverse sweep. I think that will be key.”