Sri Lankan head coach Mickey Arthur owned up the defeat at the hands of England and stated that he ain't the one to make excuses, suggesting that the batsmen needed to capitalize like Joe Root. He also praised the first Test centurion Lahiru Thirimanne, who he feels has a very good technique.
After being whitewashed in South Africa, Sri Lanka continued their poor run in Test cricket as they were thrashed by England in the first Test in Galle by seven wickets. Sri Lanka's horror show with the bat in the first innings, where they lost many wickets to terrible shots, cost them dearly as despite their second innings fight they fell short. 74 was all the hosts set for England to chase down, but while the visitors stumbled initially, the duo of Bairstow and Lawrence took the side over the line with seven wickets in hand to inflict misery on the Lankans.
Sri Lankan head coach Mickey Arthur wasn't at all impressed with his side's batting and felt the 'tempo' was completely off as he felt they didn't adapt to Lanka conditions, where they needed more 'patience.'
"The first innings was very poor, it was an unacceptable batting performance. I am not one to ever look for excuses. It was like we were batting at the Wanderers and Centurion in terms of tempo. We hadn't changed our tempo to batting in the subcontinent, coming back and batting in Sri Lanka where it is all about patience. It is about trusting your technique, about trusting your game-plan, about wearing the opposition down and grinding away," Arthur said after the defeat, reported Cricbuzz.
Sri Lanka made merely 135 in the first innings batting first with English off-spinner Dom Bess taking a five-for and the Lankan coach reckons that is where they lost the Test.
"We got that in the second innings after we had a long, hard chat about our performance day one and spoke about how we were going to make it better. The guys responded very nicely in the second innings, but it was too late. Even if we get 220 in our first innings, we keep ourselves massively in the game. That is where it was lost, that was disappointing but we have put it right in the second innings."
One of the bright spots for Sri Lanka in the Test was Lahiru Thirimanne's 111 which helped them to make 359 in the second innings and show some fight. The former Pakistan head coach stated he had 'worked' with the left-hander and feels the veteran has a very good 'technique', and proved his 'worth' in Galle.
"Since I have worked with him (Thirimanne), all I have seen is a player that works incredibly hard at his game, who has a really good technique. When we took him to SA, we felt as a reserve batsman, we thought he played fast-bowling fairly well. I thought he played the quicks well at the Wanderers. We want him to turn those 30s into 100s. He came out here and proved his worth. To see him get a hundred was really nice and just rewards for a lot of effort that he has put in over the past couple of months."
In comparison to Sri Lanka's poor first innings show, England had a marathon knock played by their skipper Joe Root, who made 228 coming at 17 for 2 to propel the Three Lions to 421 and gain a massive lead. Arthur remarked that the hosts needed to 'capitalize' like Root.
"We are looking for batsmen, particularly in the first innings, to go big. We need somebody to get a big score. We know the wickets here are tough to start on but once you get in you have to capitalise, just like Joe Root did for England which was the difference in the game. I thought Angelo Mathews's innings yesterday was just superb in these conditions. The way he applied himself, the tempo of his innings, his game-plans, I just thought our young batsmen needed to watch how he went about his business to know how to bat on a turning wicket."