London: Sri Lankan coach Graham Ford has said that dropped catches by England in the first Test in Galle allowed skipper and batsman Mahela Jayawardene to smash 180 and added that this could affect the team’s morale.
“I hope it can affect the side massively. At the end of the day when it`s really hot and there`s a lot of fatigue in the fielding unit, to see a chance or two go down, is quite demoralizing,” a daily quoted him as saying.
“Hopefully, that has an effect, and hopefully, Mahela can rub it in a bit. There have already been quite a few runs scored since the dropped catches. I was very grateful to see it,” Ford added.
Jayawardene, the only Sri Lanka batsman to exceed 50, was dropped four times, twice before smashing a century and twice after it.
England pacer James Anderson played down the missed opportunities as Sri Lanka ended the day on 289-8 after being 191-7 at one stage.
“Catches are crucial to taking 20 wickets in a Test match and a few of them maybe weren`t the most difficult, so it`s frustrating for us that they went down. We`re disappointed, especially because we focused on that at the start of the trip,” he said.
“But we have to put it behind us. The more we dwell on it the more we will get frustrated. I think if you gave us 289 for eight at the start of the day we`d have taken it for sure. We had the momentum but we just didn`t manage to finish them off,” he added.