India in Sri Lanka 2008 September 1, 2008

Indians gave up easily under pressure - Jayawardene

Cricinfo staff

Jayawardene felt the Sri Lankans handled the pressure situations better © AFP

Despite losing the one-day series to India - their first-ever bilateral series defeat against them on home soil - Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lankan captain, felt his side handled the pressure situations better, saying the Indians at times gave up a little too easily.

Sri Lanka failed to carry on their good form from the Tests, which they won 2-1. After thrashing India in the first one-dayer in Dambulla, they went on to lose the next three before claiming a consolation win in the final match in Colombo, as India were bowled out for an embarrassing 103 in 26.3 overs.

"I don't think we could be criticised for lacking fighting spirit," Jayawardene said. "Even when we were losing we were fighting. I think the Indians tend to probably give up a bit too easily.

"We want to develop in our team the habit of not giving up till the last minute. You can go through tough situations and give in quite easily. We have to keep having belief in our ability."

Reflecting on the defeat, Jayawardene blamed the inconsistency in the batting. Sri Lanka have slipped as a one-day side after finishing runners-up in the World Cup last year, losing 16 and winning 15 since then. Their only saving grace was the Asia Cup title in Pakistan.

"I'm disappointed by the way we played. We had our opportunities but our day ricket has not been consistent. Especially with the bat, we have not been consistent," he said. "If you are not capable of getting the runs, it is quite difficult to win matches."

The bowling, Jayawardene said, has a more settled look to it with the performances of Thilan Thushara and Nuwan Kulasekara, who took 10 and 11 wickets respectively in the ODIs. He added that the injury-hit seamers were progressing well.

"I think Kulasekara and Thilan Thushara have been consistent for us. Lasith [Malinga] has started bowling and [Ferveez] Mahroof is 100% fit while Dilhara [Fernando] looks very good after the injury. So there is competition in the team which is good."

Jayawardene was appreciative of the support his team received in the dead rubber fifth ODI at the Premadasa Stadium.

"Losing the series was very disappointing. But the huge crowd had supported us throughout the series and they turned up (for the last match) as well. So we had to give something back to show the character of the team."