Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal admitted at the post-match press conference that their decision to play one seamer in the match proved costly. Admitting that India outplayed them completely, Chandimal however said that he’s happy with team’s fight back in the second innings even though it was not enough to save the match. Sri Lanka lost the match by innings and 53 runs as India took an inaccessible 2-0 lead in the three-match Test series.
Excerpts from Chandimal's post-match press conference:
What went wrong in the game?
We were completely outplayed. The first innings effort was disappointing and it cost us heavily. They batted well too. Scoring 622 is huge. That put us under lot of pressure.
India scored over 600 and Sri Lanka folded for 180-odd. Did the pitch play a part in it?
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.
What was the message to the batsmen ahead of the fourth day?
We fought hard in our second innings. It was a fine effort by both Kusal Mendis and Dimuth Karunaratne. After yesterday we had some discussion and in those meetings we planned about how to go about things today. I still feel that everyone fought very hard but we kept losing wickets.
I am really pleased with the way we batted in the second innings. We need to pick up the positives and look forward to the next game
How tough was it to bat against Jadeja on that wicket?
He 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.
Was it a conscious effort to play sweep and reverse sweep so heavily?
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 really well in the second innings.
Is Sri Lanka relying too much on their spinners?
At the moment we have in our bowling line-up two experienced bowlers, Rangana Herath and Dilruwann Perera. We had a wicket that turned and we expected them to come into the scene. But we couldn't execute those plans in this game.
With Matthews not bowling, does that affect your combinations?
It's a massive loss if you want to get the combination right. (Him not bowling) was a big loss for the team.
Why did you decide to go in with just one pacer in this game?
As you said it's really hard to play with one seamer. What we thought about is that with these conditions, the only way we could have balanced this team was with one seamer in the attack. That was the plan. Unfortunately he got injured and that became a big problem.
Was it a conscious decision to send Dhananjaya de Silva at 9?
Before we batted in the second innings we put together a plan after a big discussion with everyone. Dilruwan had consistently scored runs over recently. Malinda Pushpakumara had also gone in as nightwatchman yesterday. We thought we will send Dilruwan ahead of Dhananjaya and work out how to get runs out of him. That was our plan.
Your views on Karunaratne's innings ...
It was a special innings. 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 best innings that I've seen over the last three or four years - 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.
What are your plans going ahead in this series?
We have four days now. We 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 this, we will be able to really boost the mental state in the team. They are the No. 1 team. The staff and everyone else will be really commit in training.
With so many injuries, what changes can we expect in the next game?
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.