Lack of wickets hurt us: Mahela
Colombo, Jul 31: Mahela Jayawardene was struggling to defend his team after they conceded the five-match ODI series to India with one match to go. While he credited his pace bowlers for opening the game up with quick wickets to have India four down, he also pointed out the dropped catches and missed chances as a reason for the team’s defeat.
After winning the toss and putting up a respectable 251 on board, Sri Lanka lost the contest by six wickets with 46 balls to spare. While acknowledging the Indian batsmen’s brilliance, Jayawardene also blamed his own batters for failing to do the same.
Excerpts from Jayawardene’s chat during the presentation ceremony.
Has it been very difficult for you to control the Indian batsmen?
You cannot contain that line-up, you need to pick up wickets and that’s where we have lacked in the last couple of games. Dropping catches and missing the opportunities in the field doesn’t help either.
Did the pitch act differently under lights?
The pitch was a bit slow and we knew it would do a bit more under the lights. Our quicks bowled pretty well and pitched it in the right areas. We had the Indians four wickets down and it probably could’ve been five. But it didn’t go our way. I also thought we didn’t bat that well upfront; we were some 30-40 runs short. We didn’t execute our game-plans well. But all credit to the Indians. They stuck to their guns and picked up wickets at regular intervals to ensure we never had the momentum while batting.
The margin of the loss would be particularly disappointing?
When you’re defending a target like that, you set attacking fields. Boundaries are not a concern; you have to pick wickets. If they get through that initial pressure period, it becomes quite easy for them to chase it down. All you can do is try and get 10 wickets before they chase down the total.
Your thoughts on the performance of the debutant pacer Nuwan Pradeep?
He deserves a lot of credit. He bowled with good pace as well as control. Unfortunately he ended up on the losing side but the effort that he put in was fantastic.