Mistakes cost us the match: Jayawardene
Hambantota, Jul 21: Going into the first match of the ODI series against India, Sri Lanka had the upper-hand. Not only did the home conditions gave them an advantage but also the fact that they were a well-oiled unit, coming fresh from a home series win over Pakistan.
However, the hosts faltered in the field, struggled with the ball and gave India a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. After the 21-run defeat, Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene accepted the team’s performance wasn’t up to scratch and vowed to come back stronger.
It was pretty tense in the end.
It was tense. We had some big-hitters in the end but we left a bit too much to them. We made quite a few mistakes throughout and it got difficult to come back against a strong side like India.
Did you think you should’ve have accelerated a bit more in the middle overs?
Yes, but at the same time it was important to build a strong platform for the big chase. Sangakkara batted through the innings and yes, we needed to rotate the strike a bit more. Unfortunately we lost wickets at regular intervals. But having said that, Thissara [Perera] and Kumar [Sangakkara] batted really well in the end. We can learn a lot from this defeat and take a lot of positives from it.
Kulasekara bowled just five overs. Did you realise, after the innings how much you rely on him?
Yes, him and Lasith [Malinga] are two bowlers I depend a lot in the powerplays and at other crucial situations. But there are certain things I cannot control. I felt that we made quite a few mistakes in the field. We’ve always been a good fielding side and we cannot afford to drop our standard against a team like India. We’ll learn from this and come back.
The fact that you took the game so close must boost your confidence for the next game.
We’ve been playing some really good cricket and we’ll continue doing that. We just need to ensure that we brush up on the areas that need improvement, take a bit of rest, get refreshed and then come back hard.