We expected one more wicket despite conceding 400 runs, says Asanka Gurusinha

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We expected one more wicket despite conceding 400 runs, says Asanka Gurusinha

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SportsCafe Desk

07/27/2017

Sri Lanka team manager Asanka Gurusinha has put down their poor show on day 1 of the Galle Test to their bowlers not taking their chances and to Shikhar Dhawan’s destructive knock. The hosts would hope to find some breathing space at least today as they look to move on from Asela Gunaratne's injury.

Asanka Gurusinha was understandably disappointed by his side’s display on the first day of the Test match, which hardly saw Sri Lanka making a mark. The game was mostly dominated by Indian batsmen Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara, who has helped take the side to a mammoth 399 runs despite losing an early wicket in Abhinav Mukund.

Expressing his frustration with the Sri Lankan bowling in the post-match interview, Gurusinha said, “We have to be honest and yes, we didn't bowl well. Nuwan Pradeep was the most outstanding I thought. It's a really good batting wicket… Our coach Nic Pothas will sit down with the bowlers and they will have a chat. Had we taken another wicket despite conceding 400 runs.”

Galle has always been known to favour the side batting first and the more than usual greenery on the pitch pretty much had the outcome assured when India was seen settling quite early in the game. To top that, Sri Lankan bowlers made it terribly easy for Dhawan by bowling to his lengths. Though he didn’t complete his double century, he has more or less tilted the game in India’s favour.

The former left-handed batsman was all praise for him too. He said, “Shikhar Dhawan just took over the game. His 190 was one reason we find ourselves in this situation… Fine effort by him. We know he wasn't in the initial squad and then he came back into the side and showed the selectors what he is capable of. That is the way he plays and we also ended up bowling to his strength and he capitalised on that.”

However, things weren’t all positive for the Men in Blues either as Dhawan could have been dismissed on as early as 30, but for Asela Gunaratne. The batting all-rounder messed it up big time as not only did he let Dhawan slip through his hands but also injured his thumb, which has ruled him out for four weeks.

“Not sure what would have happened had that catch been taken. It was a double blow. We dropped the catch and lost a player. Now that Asela is out we have to play with ten players against the world's number one ranked team,” lamented Sri Lanka’s former wicket-keeper.

There was also seen a tinge of regret in Gurusinha’s revelation that the side had initially planned to go with five bowlers before giving up on the idea. On a day when none of the Sri Lankan bowlers were able to make a purchase, extra options could have made the difference.

“That thought crossed our minds too, but eventually we decided to stick to this combination. We didn't want to change the combination too much. We thought this was the best combination,” added the 50-year-old.

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