CHITTAGONG : Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene, man of the match and man of the series Tilakaratne Dilshan and Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons spoke to the media after the home side’s 465-run defeat in the second and final Test.
His feelings after a resounding series win
Very happy. We knew it was going to be tough considering the conditions we were given. We knew we had to adjust. We were in trouble at times but the guys showed a lot of fight and character. Dilshan in the first innings showed that when we were 4 for 75 and that is something we encourage the boys to do, to be the best they can. I am very proud of the players. We are a good unit and we have very good standards. We just need to continue working hard and improving. At the moment we are 4th in the rankings and we should try and push ourselves further up.
Whether he was disappointed at not getting a big score in his 100 th Test match
Not really I tried my best but it was not an easy wicket to bat. It was easy for Dilshan but not for the rest of us. I am not concerned as long as we win matches.
Whether he remembers ever seeing Muttiah Muralitharan going wicketles in an innings
There are not that many. He didn’t get to bowl a long spell and Ajanta struck early, Dilhara and Vaas took wickets and Dilshan came out of the blue and picked up 4 wickets. It was good to see that we can create opportunities with the other bowlers and that’s what Test cricket is about.
On the help for spinners on this track on day four
The spinners I thought got help from the first day.
Difference between the Dhaka Test and the Chittagong Test
This one is a tougher wicket. It slower and has less pace and bounce than Dhaka. The game plan has to be different here because playing shots is not easy. Our guys adjusted according to the game plan. They (Bangladesh) could not.
Whether it was a serious decision to give Tilakaratne Dilshan the ball
Dilshan had bowled in the first Test and is a frontline bowler. Ajanta at that time was not bowling well for me and he was giving Shakib (Al Hasan) too many loose balls. There was a rough patch outside the left hander’s off stump and as Murali was bowling from the other end I thought of giving Dilshan a go as he bowls wicket to wicket. After that he started taking wickets and I couldn’t change him.
How the match went for him
It is a great feeling scoring runs. Really happy with my performance
Whether he knew about Alan Border’s record of scoring two 150s in a Test and was disappointed at not equaling the record
I didn’t know that. I just stuck to the game plan of playing through the first session.
On how frustrating the result was for him
I am disappointed. I wouldn’t have been disappointed if it was a turning wicket that suited their bowlers. I am disappointed with the wicket I saw but I don’t think the pitch played a massive role in some of our wickets.
After the 400 in Dhaka where everyone including me saw huge improvement in the young guys this was not what was expected. But I still see that six or seven of our first eight batsmen haven’t played 10 Test matches yet and against two of the world’s best bowlers, probably the best bowlers in the world at the moment, it is a tough ask.
They were also a bit overawed I think. Mendis took three wickets in no time and we were again four for nothing. I am disappointed that our top four can’t consistently make runs and it is always Ash, Shakib and Muishie, the same three trying to save our skin. Disappointed that we didn’t show that we are improving although without doubt we are. Just didn’t show that today.
His assessment of the dismal performance
When you walk out there with 600 behind with no chance of winning it is tough. The 500-plus target in Dhaka was also a massive one but we handled that pretty well. There are no excuses for the performance today.
The wicket was okay. Some of the players I think were a little inexperienced to handle the pressure that Mendis and Murali and Vaas put on them. I mean those names bowling at you is pretty tough for a team of players who haven’t played 10 Test matches. I guess our more senior players like Ash who looked at ease making 45 in the first innings, Shakib who oozes confident has played a lot of one-dayers and Mushfique who has played affair bit of cricket showed that experience can help when you have the talent.
They are getting there and I would love to do this all over again in two years time with the same guys and I can assure you that we’ll be a much better team.