Dhoni, Sangakkara criticize lifeless pitch
Colombo: Lambasting the lifeless pitch that produced a dull high-scoring draw against Sri Lanka, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni today said the track made it seem that the bowlers were there just to get smashed all over the park.
Sri Lanka piled up 642 declared before India replied in similar fashion to post 707 on the board in a rather disappointing track which offered nothing to the bowlers.
“If not for the fast bowlers, at least for the spinners we can make Test cricket interesting. It doesn’t have to be bouncy. In this game, it was all about the batsmen and the bowlers were just getting whacked all over the park,” Dhoni said.
Dhoni’s opposite number Kumar Sangakkara too felt the bowlers were made to work very hard by the pitch.
“It was not easy like MS said it was hard work for bowlers but I am very impressed with our bowling. We were always trying to attack and gave India a tough time,” said the Lankan captain.
Dhoni said he never thought of making the proceedings any interesting by declaring while still trailing by 100-odd runs.
“If the opponent scores 600 odd runs, I think we did well in the way we responded but we should have scored 50 more runs. At the end of the day I am quite happy. For the first time in the series, we bowled second with a lot of wear and tear and the bowlers performed well.
“We were 100 odd runs behind and had we allowed the Lankans to bat they would have got 300 plus and they could have gone for an outright win. We also thought of giving our bowlers some rest,” he said.
Sangakkara, meanwhile, hoped the next match would be more interesting but said his team would not think about the number one Test ranking which would go the hosts’ way if they win the series 2-0, having already clinched the opening match.
“There is a bit of a way to go before that. We have to concentrate on playing well. Work on our fielding. A half chance on a track like this is tough and we have to grab such chances,” he said.
Debutant Suresh Raina, who got a hundred besides sharing a match-saving partnership with double-centurion Sachin Tendulkar, hoped to get picked for the next match as well.
“I hope to continue and make sure that we win the last Test as we are one down. I was batting with Sachin and he was telling me to keep calm and rotate the strike,” he said.