Thursday, December 17, 2009

"We have given India a good scare"

Mahela Jayawardene feels his team has thrown the gauntlet at India by coming so close to the massive home team total in the first ODI.

"Yes, it's (three-run loss) a bitter pill to swallow. But there were lots of positives. Not many teams have chased down 400-plus. We have given India a good scare and that's a good positive going into this game," Jayawardene said ahead of the second match of the best-of-five series.

Lanka, chasing India's mammoth 414, fell short of the target by three runs in Rajkot on Tuesday.

Jayawardene did not feel that the absence of injured Muthiah Muralitharan and Dilhara Fernando has created a big problem for his team.

"I don't see a problem. Obviously injuries in the past have taken good players away from us but we have not stopped playing or winning. It's a good opportunity for another guy to show what he's capable of. It's a great challenge for someone," he said.

The stylish right-handed batsman said that the team has left the disappointment of the loss behind after having spoken what needs to be done to improve in certain areas.

"We have played enough cricket to realize we have won quite a few in the last over and lost quite a few in the last over. We have spoken about areas which we need to improve and would try to improve on them," he said.

The former Lanka skipper said that the confidence of very nearly pulling off a great victory after chasing such a huge score would rub off on his team members in the second game here at the new VCA stadium in Jamtha.

"It was a really good wicket at Rajkot. It was a fast outfield and smaller ground. History shows it's a high scoring ground. Here it's a bigger ground but a really good wicket as well. We need to adjust to that and to the different combinations. It's a fresh start. We are not going in with the same mind set but the confidence is going to be there," he said.

He sympathised with the bowlers of both the teams about the hammering they received from the batsmen on the flat deck at Rajkot and suggested the cricket authorities can give more teeth to them by allowing one more bouncer per over to be bowled to make it a more even contest between the bat and ball.

"Those kinds of things happen in one-day cricket. I have always been critical of the fact that bowlers now have to bowl in the 'strike zone' basically. You can't bowl down the leg side. Anything outside the off stump is a wide. They are given only one bouncer per over.

"With the Power Plays and all the restrictions it's important we give them leverage as well. Another option would be to give them another bouncer. Give them two bouncers an over. Restrictions are probably easing up and have given them a bit more in third Power Play. But we need to balance it out a bit more," he said.

Subscribe in a reader

No comments:

Post a Comment