Batting debacle in first innings cost us heavily says Chandimal

Sri Lanka will now have to play for pride and look to avoid a whitewash having been completely outplayed thus far.
Sri Lanka will now have to play for pride and look to avoid a whitewash having been completely outplayed thus far.

An upset Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal on Sunday (6) admitted that his side was completely outplayed by India in the second Test, primarily due to their “disappointing” batting effort in the first innings.

India on Sunday secured an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series after having thrashed Sri Lanka by an innings and 53 runs in the second Test.

Sri Lanka were sub-standard with the bat in the first innings as they were bowled out for a paltry 183 in reply to India’s mammoth 622 for nine declared.

“We were completely outplayed. The first innings effort was disappointing and it cost us heavily. They (Indians) batted well too. Scoring 622 is huge. That put us under lot of pressure,” Chandimal said after wrapped up the second day inside four days.

“They got 600, but we didn’t think we would get out so cheaply. We were surprised as well because the pitch started turning more than we thought more than it was in the first one and a half days. The reason we lost the game is because we got out for 183 in the first innings,” he added.

Sri Lanka recovered in the second innings thanks to a 191-run stand between Dimuth Karunaratne (141) and Kusal Mendis (110), who both scored centuries.

“We fought hard in the second innings. It was a fine effort by both Kusal Mendis and Dimuth Karunaratne. After yesterday (5) we had some discussion and we planned how to go about things today. I still feel that everyone fought very hard but we kept losing wickets,” said the skipper.

“It was a special innings that Dimuth played. As an opener we expect that kind of innings from him, so we’re very happy he played that innings on a very tough deck like this one.

“Of the innings that I’ve seen over the last three or four years, this innings was one of the best, both from our team and oppositions. It was an excellent innings. He always goes to the crease looking to score runs. I think that must have helped him get these 140 runs,” he added.

The Lankan batsmen excessively used the sweep shot to frustrate the Indian bowlers. However, it could only buy the hosts some time as Ravindra Jadeja took five for 152 to win the match for India.

“After the second day’s play we felt it was tough to bat on it. We tried to play straight but we couldn’t score well.

Before the second innings we had a discussion and had a chat about what was the best way to score runs. Everyone agreed that the best way moving forward was by using the sweep and reverse sweep shots heavily. We executed that really well in the second innings. We fought hard, said Chandimal.

“Jadeja is a very special bowler. That is the reason why he is ranked number one in world ranking. Credit to him for sticking to his plans. He bowled really well,” Chandimal said praising the Indian leg-spinner.

Having already surrendered the Test series, Sri Lanka will now have to play for pride and would look to avoid a whitewash in the third Test in Pallekele.

However, the  Sri Lankans will miss two key players – pacers Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal – in the third Test as both are ruled out due to injuries.

“Yes it’s a bit disadvantage not to have Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal. We haven’t made any decisions on selection because it was only in this match Nuwan got injured. We haven’t spoken to the selectors. We will make a plan in the future and try to execute that,” Chandimal said.

“We have four days now. We come out and try to win every match. Even over the next few days we are hoping to spend a lot of time and energy in training. If we can win even one match against a team like India, it will be a boost to the mental state of the team. They (India) are the no.1 team,” he signed off.