India achieved their biggest win in terms of runs and that too on a wicket which was suitable for batsmen on all four days. The Sri Lankan captain Rangana Herath could not give an explanation regarding a batting friendly wicket even when they were aware of India’s strong batting order. Speaking at the post-match presser, the Sri Lankan captain blamed the execution by the hosts of what he imagined would work in his favour.
“I think we made this pitch because we had a plan,” Herath said. “I said before the match that it will be a track that’s good for batting. We should take the main responsibility for the nature of the pitch. We didn’t bat or bowl well on it. We shouldn’t blame anyone else. We have to resolve our own issues.”
Herath felt that Sri Lanka batting didn’t live up to the expectations as no Lankan batsmen was able to touch the three figure mark whereas India made full use of the batting conditions and Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara were also able to go past 150.
“A few of our batsmen got close to three figures and got out, but the Indian batsmen not only got their hundreds, they went further. That was a big difference too in the game, and an area that we have to work on.”
According to Herath, Sri Lanka also struggled with the ball. Since March 2013, it was the first time Sri Lanka conceded more than 600 runs in an innings – the last occasion where they conceded above 600 was against Bangladesh, four years back. “We are a better team than this, we really are. I felt that it was after a long time that a team scored 600 runs against us. We should have bowled better.”, Herath said.
Sri Lankan bowling was hammered the most on day one of the Test match, when India almost touched the 400-mark, which is a very rare feet to achieve in Tests. Among the Lankan bowlers, only Herath was able to maintain an economy rate of below four in the first innings.
“At that point, we had a few plans for Shikhar Dhawan, but we failed to execute them,” Herath said. “For example, we allowed him too much width. In the first session of the match itself the game started slipping away from us. We bounced back well but he had by then got off to a terrific start.”
Over the years, we have seen that Galle track is usually spin-friendly, but in this Test the pace bowlers seemed to take more advantage than the spinners. Out of 31 wickets in this Test, 16 were scalped by the fast bowlers and 10 were grabbed by Sri Lanka pacers.
“I thought that on the fourth or fifth day there would be something for the spinners,” Herath said. “But there wasn’t as much help for the spinners as I expected at those late stages.”
Nuwan Pradeep became the first Sri Lankan bowler to grab a six-wicket haul at home since Chaminda Vaas, who achieved this feat in 2005. This also became Pradeep’s personal best figures with 6 for 132.
“I think it was after a long time a fast bowler has taken a five-wicket haul in Galle, there’s so much pressure on spinners when we play in Sri Lanka, and Pradeep bowling so well and taking so many wickets will be a huge plus point for us moving forward. He was outstanding in this game and his effort was fantastic. That was one of the positives.”, Herath concluded.