World Cup is history: Jayawardene
Brisbane, Feb 21: After a poor start to the ODI tri-series, Sri Lanka have gained serious momentum after their tied match against India. Since then, Mahela Jayawardene’s boys have beaten both opponents in the tri-series, India and Australia, and have a bonus point to their credit too. Sitting at the No. 2 spot on the points table with their 51-run win against India, Sri Lanka are back in the reckoning for the finals.
Excerpts from Jayawardene’s post-match press conference:
On the run-out situation at the non-striker’s end involving R Ashwin and Lahiru Thirimanne
I don’t know how you guys look at it. The rules have changed, I know; they’re trying to make sure there is no advantage to the batsman. It’s probably a little bit our guy’s fault as well but I think looking at the spirit of the game, [India] did the right thing.
On what he would have done if he were in Virender Sehwag’s position
I don’t play like that. I would give [the opposition batsman] a warning and make sure he stays at the crease.
On whether Thirimanne was warned
You need to ask the umpires whether he was warned.
On the run out at the non-striker’s end
Honestly, I have no idea what the regulations are. I think it’s just a small incident that happened at a very crucial moment [...]
On the dropped catch
Apart from that, we played pretty well. We made a few mistakes, [like] the dropped catches; we probably should have been able to push for that bonus point. The Indian batting line-up is very strong so if you give them opportunities, they bat well. We were put under pressure in certain situations but our boys bowled really well, [bowled] in good areas and created opportunities. We picked up wickets again with the new ball, which is great. It’s pretty much a complete game apart from those couple of dropped catches.
On Thisara Perera being a valuable player for Sri Lanka
Yes. Not only him, [Farveez] Maharoof too. The two all-rounders with the two new balls are giving me a lot of options. Angelo [Mathews’] workload is being monitored now; it is good that he’s not bowling too much, we managed to get him out of that, so it is good. When required, he has bowled a lot. I’m happy with how we went through today.
On what he would have done in the situation involving the run-out at the non-striker’s end
I wouldn’t have got the bails off in the first place, to be honest. I’d try and keep it nice and clean and tell the umpires to try and keep an eye on the guy. If [the batsman] is doing it regularly, he is taking advantage [of the opposition’s soft stand]. But I don’t think [India] did the right thing out in the middle. The seniors got together but like I said, let’s move on please.
On the match opening up the points table
Yes. It was a crucial game for us. We didn’t have a good start to this tour. We had to come back strongly, which we have done, and we played some consistent cricket even though we lost the first few games. Now we are trying to finish games off pretty well, executing all the game plans and hopefully [with] this momentum we can win a few more and try and get ourselves into the finals.
On bowling outside the off-stump
I don’t think we are bowling way outside the off-stump. I think we are bowling in that corridor and we are not giving [the batsmen] any width; we’re controlling them. But we don’t do that to every batsman we do it to different guys [who have] different strengths and try and create opportunities. [When bowlers] have been hit in [specific] areas consistently, [we] have been able to [build] a lot of pressure with the fielders who are catchers and we managed to get a few chances coming our way.
On the Indian team, their World Cup adversaries
[...] It was the World Cup – it’s happened and it’s finished. [...] They played a good game of cricket that day and they won. I would like to say that the Indian team is a strong batting line-up; we can control them by picking wickets and we are creating opportunities. We are not letting them get away. Yes, we dropped a few catches [but] it’s still not end of the world. We scored 290 – that’s a decent score with two new balls. We are playing to different rules these days as well. The Powerplays are different, the two new balls are different, so everyone has to adjust. We don’t think about the World Cup final anymore. I think we have overcome that very well.
On SL v India in this series
We played three games: they won one, we won one and one was a tie. I think we are pretty square with them.
On him doing well as an opener and the flexibility with the batting line-up
I think we will keep thinking. We have got a lot of options with Upul Tharanga on the bench and in different conditions we might go with different combinations. We have got time to think about Hobart. We will have a look at the wicket but definitely there are options for us on the bench, yes.
On Ricky Ponting
To be honest, I did not see the press conference this morning; we had a couple of meetings. Like I said, Ricky is a very experienced player. I don’t know what discussions they had with the selectors. […] Ricky is a classy player and if he feels he can still continue and get his best [form] back, good for him.
On whether Ponting should continue playing Test cricket
The way he batted in the last couple of Test matches, I think he’s still got it. But it’s up to him, whether he has got the desire and hunger. How can you judge somebody who has scored 12,000-odd runs in Test cricket and almost the same in one-day cricket? The guy has got character; I’m sure he will come through.
On Dinesh Chandimal
[...] He has taken some really good catches and he celebrates really well. It was one of those days for him so I felt he should come into the circle. He probably had enough [work] on the ropes but he got back again on the other side by himself, so that shows his confidence. We have all been through [tough] situations and I’m sure he will come through.