ONE > Rex Clementine: “Kohli praises Dimuth and PradeeP”, July 30, 2017,
Indian captain Virat Kohli praised the efforts of opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne and fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep after his team completed a comprehensive 304-run win in the first Test between the countries in Galle on Saturday. Karunaratne was dismissed after a well-compiled 97 runs while Pradeep took career-best figures of six for 132.
“Dimuth applied himself really well. We all know he’s a very good player. He’s proven himself before, at this level and he’s got a good, sound game for this format. He’s someone who is very solid at the top of the order for Sri Lanka,” Kohli said. “I think Nuwan Pradeep bowled really well. He was the one guy that looked like picking up a wicket every spell that he came back for. He hit some really good areas as well. That for me was also very good to see and challenging to face as well. All the guys who faced him felt like probably he’s going to make something happen with the ball. I think these two guys from the opposition stood out,” Kohli further said.
The Indian captain who made a second-innings century said that despite the margin of victory, his team had to fight hard. “The last time when we played here the surface offered much more to the bowlers. It kept the bowlers in the game throughout, the quicks and the spinners more so. This time around the wicket was really good to bat on even till today (Saturday).”
“I mean if you applied yourself, you could easily score runs on that surface. So, yeah, we had to work hard for getting all the wickets that we did. I think the bowlers came up with different plans, persisted long enough to get those breakthroughs and that’s something that always helps at the beginning of a series to get a victory on a surface which is not offering much and that really gives the team the confidence of doing it once more if we get a surface like that,” noted Kohli.
Sri Lanka were unlucky to lose all-rounder Asela Gunaratne in the first session of the Test match. They also had little [BAD] luck during the game. “I don’t think they were reckless at any stage. There were a few unfortunate dismissals. If you see Tharanga’s dismissal in the first innings, Angelo was going well, he really hit that ball well, could have gone anywhere, it just went straight into my hands. So these things happen in the sport. Obviously, as an opposition, if you are playing good cricket, you will capitalise on those situations and that’s why we are where we are in the rankings,” Kohli went onto say.
TWO> Rex Clementine: “We are a better team than this– Herath,” July 30, 2017
Sri Lanka’s captain Rangana Herath has asked for patience after his team’s heavy 304-run defeat at the hands of India in the first Test here in Galle. India posted a massive 600 runs in their first innings after winning the toss and Sri Lanka were not up to the task failing to post 300 runs in either innings. “We are a better team than this. We certainly are. I felt that it was after a long time a team scored 600 runs against us. We should have bowled better. The other point is that most of our batsmen got closer to three figures and got out, whereas the Indian batters made big hundreds. That was a big difference in the game. That’s an area that we need to work on moving forward,” Herath, who took over the reins of leading the team in the absence of new captain Dinesh Chandimal told journalists.
“You can’t be satisfied with any defeat. We bowled badly, fielded badly and batted badly in the first innings. We need to find out how we can do better than this moving forward,” remarked Herath.
Sri Lanka were unlucky to lose all-rounder Asela Gunaratne in the first session of the game. Gunaratne fractured his left thumb while attempting to catch Shikhar Dhawan and has been ruled out for six weeks. “It was a massive blow for us. He has been scoring a lot of runs for us in the last few months. We managed to play without him and hopefully we will bounce back well in the second Test,” noted Herath.
One satisfying factor for Sri Lanka was Nuwan Pradeep, who picked up a maiden five-wicket haul and a career-best six 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 of burden 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,” Herath further said.
Herath didn’t come to bat in Sri Lanka’s second innings and wasn’t on the field on day five having hurt his left middle-finger while fielding on day four. “We had an x-ray yesterday. It doesn’t show any fracture. But I had a fracture three years ago in the same area and that’s the reason there’s a bit of swelling and soreness. Hopefully over the next few days it will get better.”