Sri Lanka v Australia, 1st Test, Galle, 4th day September 3, 2011

I'm not going to change my batting - Dilshan


Tillakaratne Dilshan, the Sri Lanka captain, has said he will not consider changing the way he bats after a pair of impetuous innings contributed to his team's heavy defeat by Australia in the first Test in Galle.

Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews added 142 before being parted on the fourth day, showing what might have been achieved by Sri Lanka with a little more application on the most difficult of Galle pitches. Dilshan admitted his side's first innings surrender for 105 had been the key to their downfall, but has no intention of reining in his own game.

"We can't expect to get out for 105 in the first innings [and win]," Dilshan said. "That is why we lost this match. We can't give a 150-run lead, especially on this kind of wicket. We planned to get 220-230 runs [in the fourth innings] but unfortunately we had to get 400 runs.

"[But] I'm not going to change my batting, I've batted aggressively over the last three or four years and I want to play my shots. I play my natural game. Especially on a wicket that it is not easy to survive on, you have to play some shots and overcome that [challenge] with something special."

On the second morning Dilshan drove Trent Copeland's first ball for four then attempted to repeat the shot from the second and was pouched at short cover by Ricky Ponting. In the second innings he played a succession of questionable strokes before being bowled by Ryan Harris, helping open up the innings and the match for Australia.

Sri Lanka have now gone nine matches since last registering a Test victory, the sort of streak that puts Australia's struggles around the Ashes series into some perspective. The hosts are yet to win a Test since the retirement of Muttiah Muralitharan, who seems to have left the same sort of hole Richard Hadlee did for New Zealand when he retired in 1990.

"We have to find a way to win matches," Dilshan said. "After Murali retired, it is very difficult to win matches, but we've got new spinners. I look forward to winning upcoming matches.

The omission of Ajantha Mendis had been a talking point through the match, especially in the second innings when Suraj Randiv did not trouble Australia as much as a spin bowler might have expected to on a dastardly pitch. Dilshan defended the selectors' call.

"In the last few matches Randiv and [Rangana] Herath clearly did well for our team. Mendis played in the last Test series, but these two have been better overall. That is why we picked them. I feel they were a good choice for this wicket."

Sri Lanka's primary consolation came from Jayawardene and Mathews, who showed tremendous courage and skill to hold up Australia's attack. Dilshan said he had nurtured slims hopes for victory while Jayawardene was at the crease.

"Their fightback was great. After being 68 for five, I felt they put us in a winning position at one stage," he said. "Mahela batted really well, he showed his character and experience.

"He's batted in these kinds of situations a lot over the last six or seven years for Sri Lanka. When the team is struggling, he puts his hand up and puts runs on the board. Today he did the same thing. Unfortunately he got out to the new ball, but I'm really happy with the way these two batted."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Randolph on September 6, 2011, 23:31 GMT

    @Meety, no way it's over! 3-0!!!!

  • Dummy4 on September 5, 2011, 20:45 GMT

    dilshan you go ahead your own game. if you change your gear will lose your place in the team also good very near future.

  • Dummy4 on September 5, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    whatever happen try to find fast bowler like malinga and coach how to play against spin since long time our team struggle against spin find good middle order.

    also why not use mahela as opener example some times can use top order angelo, suraj, herath try do some change.

  • Dummy4 on September 5, 2011, 15:52 GMT

    one of most overrated player in world cricket.

  • Abinash on September 5, 2011, 3:06 GMT

    Mate, i see a 3-0 whitewash on the cards. Aussies are hitting the perfect lengths. Moving the ball both ways. The Sri Lankan batsmen are playing pathetic cricket!!

  • Andrew on September 5, 2011, 0:46 GMT

    The series isn't over yet for Sri Lanka, & they could still win, but to me Dilshan is not a good captain. If SL pull off a come from behind series win, he'll probably be lauded a hero. The wicket keeper seems to me to be a better choice.

  • Samapth on September 4, 2011, 18:25 GMT

    My dear friends be cool.We have just beaten one match.Mr Jonathan Joseph , Para is not playing for Sangas club .So he is not a bady of Sanga.No point of talking about paras form since he was in the wicket when all the big guns are getting out.Do not talk about the batting style of Dilshan once he fails.Do not forget about what he had done using this style.Mr stephen is talking about dropping Sanga.Can anybody suggest the replacement??? I agree with the term of Dilshan is not an ideal captacy material.Angelo is too young to take this responsibility.He is our future. So I suggest Tilan Samaraweera is matured enough to take over the test captancy.Better to replace the out of form Randiv with Ajantha or Sekkuge prasa.Shamindra Eranga should replace either Lakmal or welagedara.

  • Dru on September 4, 2011, 15:22 GMT

    You cant expect Dilshan to change his style just becuase he is captain after all its served him well after he was asked to open. When he come's off everyone marvels at his aggression and part of that bargain is he will also fail. His numbers suggest he comes off more than he doesnt and that's just the way its going to be. He is not a technical batter to suddenly start doing something he is not capable of. Love him or hate him this is his deal. I also dont agree that Paranawitharan should be dropped. He did a reasonable job in England and shows enough promise as a proper test bat to be given a fair chance to succeed. What I see as the biggest hurdle is batsman lacking mental toughness to handle the situation and I dont think changing the batting order or dropping guys will fix that.

  • Mark on September 4, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    @pradeep_dealwis fully agree with every word you say.

  • Dummy4 on September 4, 2011, 11:23 GMT

    I feel bowlers done their job fairly well, but batters not find their form/rhythm, except Mahela & Mathews. If Wicket is tricky first adapt to the condition & situation especially Dilshan as a captain he must know is role. Paranavithana should replace with Thirumanne/Tharanga, Mathews should bat at No.5 we can't blame Mathews bowling unless he get a chance to bowl, Dilshan should give chance a to him because Mathews playing as batting all-rounder Mathews very intelligent cricketer, if Watson could pick wickets why not Mathews.

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