‘We didn’t handle the situation properly’


Sri Lanka wicketkeeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella has said that his team failed to execute their plans properly early on day three of the second Test against India.

Dickwella was the only man to impress in Sri Lanka’s first innings as they were bundled out for 183 and forced to follow on.

The dynamic left-hander swept well and showed the way for Sri Lanka’s second innings rally.

Dickwella said at the post-match press conference: “We weren’t good in the first session. We had plans before the second innings started, on how to handle spin and how to handle pressure, how to play the new ball, etc. It was a long meeting during the lunch break and we executed those plans very well.

“We didn’t handle the situation properly early on. We should have settled down a bit, but we didn’t. We could have settled down like in the evening session. We were more positive after lunch. I played my normal game.

“I swept about 80 percent of my shots. We were training hard on sweeps and reverse sweeps. Hashan Tillakaratne and other coaches are specifically speaking about the sweep shots and encouraging us to do that. We are improving with the sweeps.”

Kusal Mendis stroked a third Test century later in the day while Dimuth Karunaratne was unbeaten in the 90s by stumps showing there was little wrong with the pitch.

Dickwella added: “The wicket has no issues. Our approach wasn’t right in the first innings, but we had a chat before the second innings and it paid off. We had sweep shot as one of our options. We didn’t want to sweep so early. After the first innings we had a different approach and that paid off for us.”

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Dickwella praised the pair of Karunaratne and Mendis for their efforts in a huge partnership for the hosts.

He went on: “They both are great players. They executed the plans and used the crease and swept well. Mendis has been a brilliant player in his small career. Track is not difficult at all. We adapted brilliantly.

“We had a plan and we executed them well and that’s the reason why we are 209 for two.”