Indian bowlers bowled their hearts out: Stuart Law
Colombo: Sri Lanka assistant coach Stuart Law was all praise for the Indian attack for their gritty effort but said the home team has more balance in their bowling department to take 20 wickets and win the third cricket Test here.
“The way Ishant and Abhimanyu Mithun bowled, they haven`t disgraced themselves one bit. They keep running in and they keep trying, taken the responsibility in whole series. There was not much time between the matches and maybe fatigue is starting to set in. But I thought they bowled pretty well for very little reward,” Law said after the first day`s play which Sri Lanka ended on 294 for four.
With Lasith Malinga back in the playing eleven after missing out the second Test due to an injury, Law, said the Lankans has more balance in their bowling attack compared to the visitors.
“We have correct balance to get 20 wickets. It`s similar kind of an attack we had in Galle. Two different spinners from that Test Match. With Lasith Malinga back in the line up, it`s not so much the wicket he needs, he needs to turn up and get his variations spot on. If he does that, it`ll be handful,” he said.
“Welegedara has had a few problems with his wrist and swinging the ball. He`s starting to get back to his form. Angelo Mathews, if the wicket has little bit of assistance for the seamers, can be hard to bat against. We`ve got a very balanced attack. It`s not very heavy on spin or heavy on seam,” he added.
The Australian rued giving away two wickets to the Indians but said his side would look to pile up runs and press for a win.
“We gifted India two wickets today. The boys have beaten themselves upstairs in the dressing room. Kumar Sangakarra still feels hurt for getting out the way he did. Dilshan gifted his wicket before lunch break. It would have been a nice lunch had we gone on 102 for one,” Law said.
“But overall, I am very happy with the way things went for us and hopefully this will set us up for a big first innings total. This pitch looks like an even contest between bat and ball. It`s going to be a more of a test for the skills of the batsmen. The bowlers will come into it.”
Law said the script went according to the plan as his side was hoping to bat first and pile up runs.
“We turn up to win the toss and bat first. It looked quite dry, even though there was grass on the surface. We know with our spin attack, coming towards the end of the Test Match in the fourth innings, we know they are going to get lot of assistance,” he said.
“To me it means, when you win the toss, you remain positive and say I will take you on in a bowler friendly conditions. That`s the way I saw it. That`s the way Sangakkara saw it when he decided to bat after wining the toss. That was the key,” he added.
Asked about Sri Lanka`s target tomorrow, Law said, “If you look at the averages and what has happened in the past, 350-400 is a pretty good score. If we try and bat as long as we can tomorrow, the way we play, who knows, 450 might be. The closer we get 500, it sets up for a good victory.”