Batsmen let Sri Lanka down, says coach Bayliss
By Jatila KARAWITA
CRICKET: Sri Lanka cricket coach Trevor Bayliss termed the 3-2 Idea
Cup One-Day International series defeat to India as a “minor hiccup”,
and insisted, but for below-par batting, the hosts could have beaten the
tourists considering the outstanding effort put in by their bowlers.
“Our bowling was outstanding throughout”, he told “Sunday Observer”,
in the aftermath of the 112-run win by Sri Lanka in the fifth and final
ODI at R Premadasa International Stadium last Friday (Aug29).
“But, the same cannot be said of the batting. It was a failure and if
only our batters had been more consistent we could have overturned the
final result”. Sri Lanka won the first ODI in Dambulla by eight wickets
before India levelled the series with a three-wicket win in the second
game also at the same venue.
The teams then moved to Colombo to resume their rivalry as M S
Dhoni’s men won the third ODI by 33 runs to take a 2-1 lead, before
sealing the series with a 46-run triumph in fourth game rendering the
last One-Dayer inconsequential to the series outcome.
He said the wickets provided for the series in Dambulla and Colombo
were quite different from each other and that batting under floodlights
at the R Premadasa Stadium was always going to be a tough proposition.
Bayliss said that the toss itself was crucial to the final outcome of
the series result, and that at the R Premadasa Stadium (the venue for
the last three ODIs) if the batsmen had got their act together the
visitors could have struggled to win the series.
Bayliss who presided over his second home ODI series defeat after an
identical 3-2 loss to England, in November last year, singled out
fast-improving all-rounder Thilina Thushara
Mirando and pacer Nuwan Kulasekera for special praise saying “:they
were two impressive performers who grabbed their chances”.
The Australian noted that the Idea Cup One-Day International series
also provided Sri Lanka with the springboard for the emergence of young
talent in the form of Mahela Udawatte, Malinda Warnapura and last but
not least mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis. Bayliss though commended
Mendis for continuing to amaze both critics and players alike since he
burst into the international spotlight in the past one month or so.
“He is a quick learner and a bloke who has a good head on his
shoulders”, the coach said describing Sri Lanka’s new spin sensation.
“He will no doubt continue to be among the wickets as his variations
are tough to decipher, but it is too premature to predict whether he
will become another Murali or a Shane Warne”.