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July 30, 2008
Trevor Bayliss, Sri Lanka's coach, expects India to come back hard in Galle after being drubbed by an innings and 239 runs inside four days in the first Test at the SSC in Colombo. Bayliss said the best batsmen in the world were bound to struggle against spinners Ajantha Mendis and Muttiah Muralitharan, who shared 19 of the 20 wickets at the SSC.
"We are expecting India to come back hard," Bayliss said. "It won't be as easy as in the SSC. We have two quality spinners, and the best of batters will struggle against them and there will be days when they [Murali and Mendis] find it tough against a few batsmen."
India collapsed to 223 and 138 on a pitch where the Sri Lankans compiled four individual centuries in a total of 600 before declaring. Bayliss said the spin duo managed to induce mistakes by exerting pressure from both ends.
"The odd rash shot was played. It was also because pressure was exerted from both ends," Bayliss said. "Batsmen can't relax any more. After being in the field for almost two days it could have happened to the best in Test cricket."
Bayliss said a similar surface is expected in Galle, though Chaminda Vaas could still have a big role to play. "It looks very similar to SSC. Last time we played here Chaminda Vaas took four wickets against England and I expect him to be the same threat here again. Spin will certainly be our strength."
Bayliss acknowledged Mendis as a "revelation not only for Sri Lankan cricket, but also for world cricket" and was confident he'd continue to remain a threat in future.
"Oppositions will start to learn how to play him," he said. "I must say he has a good head and he is a quick learner."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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