Johannesburg: Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardene will bat more freely after he reaches his milestone of 10,000 Test runs, feels captain Tillakaratne Dilshan.
"I believe Mahela will bat with more freedom after he will get that single run he still requires to reach his 10,000 Test run mark," Dilshan told the Afrikaans daily `Beeld`.
Sri Lanka lost their first Test of the three-match series by an innings and 81 runs against South Africa in just three days at Centurion last week and Dilshan feels batsmen should take the blame for the debacle.
"Our batsmen will have to take responsibility for what happened," insisted Dilshan.
"We must sit down and reflect on what went wrong and bat with greater commitment in the rest of the series," he added.
Dilshan and the Sri Lankan batting coach Marvan Atapattu had earlier hit out at the pitch in Centurion.
"On that first day the balls hit through with the bounce of a tennis ball and it was difficult to play your shots with confidence," said Dilshan.
While Atapattu said: "Usually it is a great deal easier to bat on a pitch on day two as on day one, but this was not at all the case (at Centurion)."
The second Test between South Africa and Sri Lanka is scheduled to be held at Durban from December 26.
First Published: Thursday, December 22, 2011, 18:13