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India v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Ahmedabad

'We won't make the same mistakes', says Moody

Dileep Premachandran in Ahmedabad

December 17, 2005

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Tom Moody: 'We have a series to save, and a Test to win' © Getty Images
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The confidence gained from the one and a half days in Chennai didn't last very long, and with flu now ravaging the side, Tom Moody and Mahela Jayawardene were both a little subdued while addressing the media after a net session. Both promised that the mistakes of Delhi would not be repeated, and that Sri Lanka would go all out for their first Test win on Indian soil.

Moody

On the fitness worries

A number of players are suffering with various illnesses - a viral stomach bug and flu. It's no different from the Indian team. A couple of guys stayed back at the hotel to rest, and we're hoping to pick from a full squad.

Once the match starts, we've got to get on with it. The adrenaline takes over, and you've seen many fine performances from players who are injured or ill.

On Dilhara Fernando and Chaminda Vaas

They have a bit of fever, but we're pleased that it's 24 hours before the match because these things ease off. But they're not 100 percent at the moment. Marvan [Atapattu] is also suffering a bit from flu, and has been going about things in a low-key way.

On the pitch

It looks much the same as the one we had for the ODI. It's a good cricket wicket, and it looks like there'll be turn. It should be a good-scoring game.

On what the team approach would be

We have a series to save, and a Test to win, which we've never done before in India. There's obviously pride involved. We're going with in confidence, like we did in Delhi. The defeat has not taken that away.

On the batting collapses in Delhi

I can't do anything about that. It's up to the players to learn from them. Delhi was not a difficult pitch to bat on. It was just the first 20 minutes when you were unsure if you were in or not in, which was probably why wickets fell in bunches there. But once a batsman was established, it was hard to budge them. We need to review our performance, look where we went wrong and correct those mistakes. That's the difference between a good team and an average one.

We lost that match over the course of 60 minutes of bad batting. This time, we won't make the same mistakes, and we will hope that it's the opposition that make them.

Jayawardene

On recovering from Delhi

Delhi is finished. We start all over again here. We have talked of attacking their bowlers, and depending on the pitch and the match situation, we'll try and do that again.

On Anil Kumble

With close to 500 wickets, he's way up there with the great bowlers. He's been a great campaigner for so long, and a very intelligent bowler. The way he's been bowling, he's the best in their side.

On whether Sanath Jayasuriya was being missed

When someone has played 100 Tests, will you not miss him? We miss the experience and the contribution he could have made if he had been around, but we can't think about it now. There are some talented players here, and we have to perform.

Dileep Premachandran is features editor of Cricinfo

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Dileep Premachandran Associate editor Dileep Premachandran gave up the joys of studying thermodynamics and strength of materials with a view to following in the footsteps of his literary heroes. Instead, he wound up at the Free Press Journal in Mumbai, writing on sport and politics before Gentleman gave him a column called Replay. A move to MyIndia.com followed, where he teamed up with Sambit Bal, and he arrived at ESPNCricinfo after having also worked for Cricket Talk and total-cricket.com. Sunil Gavaskar and Greg Chappell were his early cricketing heroes, though attempts to emulate their silken touch had hideous results. He considers himself obscenely fortunate to have watched live the two greatest comebacks in sporting history - India against invincible Australia at the Eden Gardens in 2001, and Liverpool's inc-RED-ible resurrection in the 2005 Champions' League final. He lives in Bangalore with his wife, who remains astonishingly tolerant of his sporting obsessions.
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