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Since 1st March, 1999
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Mahela blames batsmen

Galle: Losing three early wickets in their second innings made things difficult for them, rued Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene.

The following are excerpts

Losing the toss

On sub-continental pitches, batting first will be ideal knowing that the last few days is going to be tough… This match finished on the fourth day. It was important to get a good start when you are chasing any total, which we didn’t get. Ten for three wasn’t ideal, that’s where we probably lost the game.

The performance of the middle-order

The last game was brilliant, 600 runs. One game you have a bad run, and you just can’t point fingers and say this is bad. It’s just that we need to figure out a way of controlling situations a bit better, especially under pressure and see how we can come out of this.

Need for a pace bowler

That’s something for us to discuss. We felt that in these kind of conditions, usually the medium-pacers are effective as well. Ishant (Sharma) is an exceptional bowler with his height and everything. He creates a bit of bounce on this kind of wicket. We just need to make a smart choice. We will have a chat with the selectors, we have a few options in our squad. We will see what we can come up with.

Ajantha Mendis getting ten wickets and still losing

It is very disappointing. Very happy for Ajantha that he has picked up ten in his second Test match. I thought he bowled brilliantly and supported the other bowlers as well. The bowling unit fought really well throughout the Test match and created opportunities for us and kept the Indians under control.

Did you expect a four-day finish

I thought we could give them a better fight. We fought every time we were down to come back very well into this Test match.

Were the Indians more positive against the spinners?

They did try to play a few shots. Virender (Sehwag) is anyway going to play his natural game. The day its going to come off, it will come off. The days it won’t come off, it won’t come off. So you can’t take anything away.

Did Ishant and Zaheer catch you unawares

Going into a fourth or fifth-day pitch, you always know that when there are two top-class spinners, the mindset will be there. But we always knew that the new ball would be a factor on this kind of wicket. That’s where you can pick up a couple of wickets with the new ball. We had a set plan, but when you are 10 for three all of a sudden, you do set yourself back and it is very difficult to fight back from that point.

The Lanka openers

Michael (Vandort) has been one of the consistent batters for us in the last six months. Malinda (Warnapura) is coming into his own. We need both of them to hang in there for a while. These two guys are learning still as an opening combination.

If you keep chopping and changing, it is going to be a problem for us as well in the long run.

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