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

We'd have won bowling first too - Watson

68

Shane Watson, the Australia vice-captain, has said his side bowled so well to Sri Lanka's batsman that they would have won the first Test in Galle even if they had lost the toss and fielded first.

After his side took a 1-0 lead in the series, Australia's captain Michael Clarke said he felt the toss had been critical, and decried a pitch on which that was so. But Watson said the Australia bowlers had been so disciplined and balanced in their work that bowling first would not have made much difference.

"To be able to win a Test match in Sri Lanka is a really good effort," Watson said. "I know batting first helped the cause but we did bowl very well as a group throughout the whole Test match and in the end I don't think it would have mattered that much whether we batted or bowled first.

"I thought we bowled as well as we have for a number of years. We were able sustain pressure for a long time and make it hard for Sri Lanka to score runs."

On a turning wicket, Australia's seamers accounted for 13 wickets in the Test, with Watson getting three in ten balls during a spell of reverse-swing bowling in the first innings, and then two in the second, including Kumar Sangakkara's scalp with a snorter of a short ball. He pointed to the performance of the fast bowlers as an example of just how well they had done as a bowling unit.

"We did get the best of the conditions batting first, but for our quicks to have an impact, especially in the second innings provides some confidence to us fast bowlers that will play a big part in the next two Tests.

"As a batting unit we have to capitalise on our starts; there's no doubt Michael Hussey batted beautifully in conditions where we didn't know what a good score was."

Ricky Ponting's absence from the second Test will be a blow to Australia's efforts to secure the series, as much in the field as with the bat, after he held a pair of rasping catches in the first innings, but Watson said the circumstances opened up an opportunity for Shaun Marsh.

"It will have some impact losing someone who has won 100 Test matches, which is a phenomenal achievement really, but it gives Shaun Marsh an opportunity as well. He has been batting beautifully over the last six months; he has a number of gears as a batsman and over here against the spin and the pace that will be important. That is the exciting thing about Ricky going home."

Tillakaratne Dilshan is adamant he won't change his aggressive style of batting after a pair of low scores in Galle, and Watson said that suited Australia. He pointed out that Ryan Harris had made Dilshan look decidedly uncomfortable by moving the ball in to him, denying him room to play through the off side..

"It's the way he plays isn't it, he's always batted like that and he's always backed himself. There's no doubt the ball coming back in to him provides a different ballgame compared to the ball going away from him so he can free his arms. So hopefully he keeps playing the way he does and we'll be able to execute our plans the way we did, like Ryan Harris in the second innings especially. Hopefully as a captain he won't have too much impact throughout the series."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • hyclass on September 6, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    Its as foolish and unprovable to oppose what Watson has said,as it is,ungracious and unproveable for Watson to have said it.

  • awesome10 on September 6, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    I was dissappointed with the way Ponting got out of two rash shots in the first and second innings. He could have had a big score if not for those two poor shot selection.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on September 6, 2011, 8:11 GMT

    Take note of CamCove, Mario, he is a level-headed Aussie. No need for bitterness..

  • CricketFan2011WC on September 5, 2011, 22:53 GMT

    @VivGilchrist, I am a SL-fan, and I agree with you. To further add, although it is off the title, it is disappointing to see all the batters blaming on the pitch when it had assisted bowlers. Both teams had wicket taking spin bowlers and they took wickets. So arn't Dilshan and our "top" class batters should be able to handle good bowling, or are they asking batting friendly pitches to shine themselves. This applies to Ponting as well (not a big fan of him), during world cup he was referring to Premadasa-wicket as "rolled mud". Of course earth's crust is made out of weathered rocks. These people are putting blame on somewhere else to not to show their inability. Clarke and Hussy batted well, and Watto bowled beautifully in a so called "spin" friendly wicket. In any case Aus-won when both teams were given the same pitch. So are these people asking for pitches that they only can bat? If you are a cricketer you should be able to handle any pitch and blame themselves for their inability.

  • DazTaylor on September 5, 2011, 18:12 GMT

    @Marcio It seems you are making the mistake our Indian friends tend to do and that is to confuse TEST matches and ODI. Two completely different games. One where England are better than everyone else and one where Australia are (despite India winning the WC).

  • Valavan on September 5, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    @chandau, dont speak like a saint here. Does it matter when the game is really over. Fellow SL fans dont follow dhonisque excuses.

  • camcove on September 5, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    Now Yorkshire Matt, I don't want to go out on a limb here, but methinks you might come from the Old Country. It might even be that you are having a bit of sport at the expense of us poor humble Aussies. I think it should be said, even allowing for the banter, that you guys should celebrate the work ethic, talent and resultant success of your "mob". This is without doubt the best English side I have seen. Apart from the obvious depth of the bowling (Tremlett was missing for 3 of the 4 tests against India, and so Bresnan stepped in and, as in Oz last summer, showed his considerable talent and Swann may be a Jack the lad , but he is one talented offie, who is lethal against lefties) and batting, I love the way someone seems to step up when there is potential disaster. (Prior is a good example). This is what Oz used to do in our heyday. As we are wont to say, goodonya. (Of course we are plotting your downfall, and at the same time hoping it doesn't take as long as ours did)!

  • Marcio on September 5, 2011, 12:38 GMT

    @yorkshirematt, considering that Eng struggled to beat SL at home I wouldn't bet on it. You poms have become the cherry pickers and spin doctors of cricket, picking and choosing your series and stats to suit your argument. So let me cherry pick one more stat for you. 6-1: the series result last time Eng played Australia. And no, you didn't win. You got annihilated. ;-)

  • here2rock on September 5, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    Sri Lanka got but they deserved! They make unfair pitches to suit their spinners and it is about time they pay the price. India is just the same. Lesson for both countries.

  • VivGilchrist on September 5, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    Oh, I get it! 3 wickets in the first, 2 in the 2nd (including the wicket of Sangakarra) only equals bowling well in one innings. I think it just makes me sick when people can't give credit to the opposition when they win. The two highest scores were from the first and fourth innings. Who's to say Australia wouldn't have chased down the total with wickets to spare batting last? C'mon Lankans please don't lower yourselves to the standards of the constant excuse making Indian fans.

  • hyclass on September 6, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    Its as foolish and unprovable to oppose what Watson has said,as it is,ungracious and unproveable for Watson to have said it.

  • awesome10 on September 6, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    I was dissappointed with the way Ponting got out of two rash shots in the first and second innings. He could have had a big score if not for those two poor shot selection.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on September 6, 2011, 8:11 GMT

    Take note of CamCove, Mario, he is a level-headed Aussie. No need for bitterness..

  • CricketFan2011WC on September 5, 2011, 22:53 GMT

    @VivGilchrist, I am a SL-fan, and I agree with you. To further add, although it is off the title, it is disappointing to see all the batters blaming on the pitch when it had assisted bowlers. Both teams had wicket taking spin bowlers and they took wickets. So arn't Dilshan and our "top" class batters should be able to handle good bowling, or are they asking batting friendly pitches to shine themselves. This applies to Ponting as well (not a big fan of him), during world cup he was referring to Premadasa-wicket as "rolled mud". Of course earth's crust is made out of weathered rocks. These people are putting blame on somewhere else to not to show their inability. Clarke and Hussy batted well, and Watto bowled beautifully in a so called "spin" friendly wicket. In any case Aus-won when both teams were given the same pitch. So are these people asking for pitches that they only can bat? If you are a cricketer you should be able to handle any pitch and blame themselves for their inability.

  • DazTaylor on September 5, 2011, 18:12 GMT

    @Marcio It seems you are making the mistake our Indian friends tend to do and that is to confuse TEST matches and ODI. Two completely different games. One where England are better than everyone else and one where Australia are (despite India winning the WC).

  • Valavan on September 5, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    @chandau, dont speak like a saint here. Does it matter when the game is really over. Fellow SL fans dont follow dhonisque excuses.

  • camcove on September 5, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    Now Yorkshire Matt, I don't want to go out on a limb here, but methinks you might come from the Old Country. It might even be that you are having a bit of sport at the expense of us poor humble Aussies. I think it should be said, even allowing for the banter, that you guys should celebrate the work ethic, talent and resultant success of your "mob". This is without doubt the best English side I have seen. Apart from the obvious depth of the bowling (Tremlett was missing for 3 of the 4 tests against India, and so Bresnan stepped in and, as in Oz last summer, showed his considerable talent and Swann may be a Jack the lad , but he is one talented offie, who is lethal against lefties) and batting, I love the way someone seems to step up when there is potential disaster. (Prior is a good example). This is what Oz used to do in our heyday. As we are wont to say, goodonya. (Of course we are plotting your downfall, and at the same time hoping it doesn't take as long as ours did)!

  • Marcio on September 5, 2011, 12:38 GMT

    @yorkshirematt, considering that Eng struggled to beat SL at home I wouldn't bet on it. You poms have become the cherry pickers and spin doctors of cricket, picking and choosing your series and stats to suit your argument. So let me cherry pick one more stat for you. 6-1: the series result last time Eng played Australia. And no, you didn't win. You got annihilated. ;-)

  • here2rock on September 5, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    Sri Lanka got but they deserved! They make unfair pitches to suit their spinners and it is about time they pay the price. India is just the same. Lesson for both countries.

  • VivGilchrist on September 5, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    Oh, I get it! 3 wickets in the first, 2 in the 2nd (including the wicket of Sangakarra) only equals bowling well in one innings. I think it just makes me sick when people can't give credit to the opposition when they win. The two highest scores were from the first and fourth innings. Who's to say Australia wouldn't have chased down the total with wickets to spare batting last? C'mon Lankans please don't lower yourselves to the standards of the constant excuse making Indian fans.

  • hyclass on September 5, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    Perception is an interesting study.Watson,who is universally accepted as a quick scoring Test player has a S/R of 50. Katich,who is perceived as a dour crease occupier has a S/R of 49. Hughes,22,whose average before the last test was 39.55,has 2 centuries in 21 innings and is considered unworthy by many of a Test place. Watson,30,considered a succesful opener,has 2 centuries in 51 innings and an average of 40.30. Geoff Marsh,considered a succesful test opener,had 4 centuries in 93 innings and an average of 33 at a S/R of 35.Of the modern Test batsmen,possibly only the Englishman,Chris Tavares S/R 30 is lower. Shaun Marsh, deemed a stroke maker good enough for test selection,has 6 centuries in 112 innings and an average of 37 at a S/R of 46.Ponting,who has been in poor form for 4 years, has averaged 41 during that time.Mike Husseys results are similar. David Hussey,who like Hodge before him,has unspecified weaknesses that prevent his Test selection by CA,has 40 centuries at 55 S/R 71.

  • chandau on September 5, 2011, 10:28 GMT

    @VivGilchrist : Mate its not that Oz won the match, its weather they would have won batting 2nd (or bowling first as Watson said). When the whole team including Ponting and Clark and Hussy are acknowledging the part the pitch played in the match Watson seems to think nothing of it :) As for Watson's bowling and batting in 1st class matches, no one has disputed his credentials. Fact remains he had a poor match with the bat and bowled well in one inning. While Lyon had the advantage of a beginner ( not being seen by even some OZ players LOL - must be a first) it was Harris who stole the show. After all Watson was doing well in the ODIs (may be good on flat tracks lol) to fail so miserably in the test. At the end of the day old hands did the trick for OZ (and for SL as well with mahela and herath)

  • yorkshirematt on September 5, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    Well England should have no trouble winning in SL during the winter if this mob can do it;)

  • WPDDESILVA on September 5, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    SHAME ON YOU SL!! You should have picked Mendis instead of that staright bowling Randiv. Also Aussies played for pride and for thier country and you payed just because you were asked to......SHAME ON YOU!!

  • popcorn on September 5, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    THAT's confidence for you! Goodoh, Shane!

  • VivGilchrist on September 5, 2011, 7:43 GMT

    Reading alot of these comments one is lent to believe that Australia didn't deserve to win, were extremely lucky to bat first, bowling was tough on the first day, and Watto can't bowl even though he has 178 first class wickets @ 27. Wow, imagine if he was good! Oh, he also has almost 7000 FC runs @ 46. Just lucky I guess every time he bats it's a good track, and when he bowls it morphs into a helpful wicket.

  • hyclass on September 5, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    According to Watson,Marsh has been batting 'beautifully' for the last 6 months. Really? Lets investigate.His only 1st class game in the 2011 calendar year,was his 12 from 28 balls in the S/L Board XL match.Remember,its September 2011.He last played Shield in Dec 2010.His two games in that month were:20 from 77 balls,5 from 24 balls and 50 from 124 balls-total 75 runs average 25,from 225 balls at a S/R of 33. His game against NSW at the end of Nov.2010: 86 from 199 balls and 27 from 72 balls-113 runs from 271 balls at a S/R of 41.In List A,from Dec. 2010, he made two ducks in seperate games against QLD and 52 from 71 against Tasmania- 52 runs at 17.In ODI this year,hes made,110,6,1,16,70,2-205 runs at 34.His last 2 innings had two simple dropped chances that should have seen this total reduced to 143 at 24.In T20I,hes made 4 and 0 for Australia.His total 1st class and International runs in 2011 are 221 from 9 innings at 24.55.It could have been 159 runs at 17 if easy catches were taken.

  • satanswish on September 5, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    3-0 whitewash for sure & Srilankans back to their performance in 80s.

  • on September 5, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    @Matthew Thom- I have to agree with you as Mendis wil be a key figure on the 2nd match if they pick hi for the side and I'm waiting to see ( Samaraweera & Sanga scorein some runs ) Aussie are palying mind games and Watson has made a speech....well I still if Sri Lankans truly belives they can win....then this is the time..........cause we are not in a good situation now........nothing is working...but if our guy's can pull this off...that is the best that they can do for home fans...cause we love our heros' and it's nothing like winning a match againts a quality team like Australie....to other people please stop talking about India VS Eng...as it's not in our cards...

  • chandau on September 5, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    LOL One Swallow doesn't make a summer Mate! Its kool to be arrogant after the last wicket fell hmmm. For EXAMPLE would Watson have got the wickets if he bowled first day? Am not sure, especially the one that got Sam (so low, what we used to call a garandiya in schooldays :) ) And they were lucky with the Hussy catch in the first innings, instead of 250 they got 270 odd. Even in second innings Sanga got a snorter and Para was not out (why did SL not review the LBW? it was pitched outside leg stump). Also the novelty of LYON wore off pretty fast, he was lucky to get Michelle in the first innings but had no fears for the 2nd. The balance of SL team is screwed without ANGE bowling. Mendis (Ajantha) would have played for sure if Ange could bowl. Wait and see what team SL pick for Kandy, which is a different and fresh track. For the record, Mahela again showed he is the master of Galle track , the most difficult pitch in SL to batters. He could not save the match but....

  • on September 5, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    As a Sri Lankan I always want to see that our team is winning.But the way Sri Lankan team is playing is very dissapointed.Since players are targetting t20 tournaments and playing t20 maches more often,they always attacking the bowlers and get themselves out even in test matches.Its a very dissapointed move.If a player cannot adjust him to long version of the game by having good concentration and deciplines,the selectors should not select them to the test team.ECB is a good example of having 3 captains for ODI,T20 and tests and they are winning all of them.I think the fault is not with the players its with selectors and coaches who cannot train them to adjust different conditions and teach them how to concentrate.

  • anver777 on September 5, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    I don't agree with Watson at all, no doubt the toss played a crucial part in the match.. it was much easier to bat on the 1st day & that really helped Aussies to a decent 1st inning score......

  • Trickstar on September 5, 2011, 3:31 GMT

    @Vilander You might want to get your facts right mate, also by that logic India should never have been anywhere near the No1 spot as they haven't won in Africa or Australia EVER, which England have done on numerous occasions.

  • Oldwombat on September 5, 2011, 2:43 GMT

    All I can say is the show is not over until the fat lady lady sings. There are two more matches to go and the batsmen have done little to impress. Ponting got a start and Clark did not finish. Top bowling needs to be supported by top batting.

  • Marcio on September 5, 2011, 2:07 GMT

    Watson wasn't being arrogant, it's just the headline that makes it look that way. I'm sure Watson and the AUS team know there is a long way to go in this series. I'm expecting two tough test matches. If AUS can win one more it would be a great result for the team. Ponting will be missed, as he is a great player of spin. But so are Hughes, Clarke and Hussey. I'm hoping AUS can win 2-1. Let's hope for some great cricket from both teams.

  • on September 5, 2011, 0:17 GMT

    Didn't Watto say we'd win 3-1 after we beat England in Perth last year. I wish he'd focus on his current job, rather than on his future job in the media. Nor should he contradict his captain.

  • me54321 on September 4, 2011, 23:56 GMT

    Thought this article was about an Australian talking about a test match between Aus and Sri Lanka. Why are there so many comments about/by Indians about India and England? Hopefully the next pitch will have some assistance for the bowlers as well, though hopefully not quite as much, and then I'll be able to enjoy some more interesting cricket as a neutral. Sri Lanka will bounce back with their batsmen, but I really can't see their bowlers bowling out a decent batting line up cheaply on anything but this kind of pitch.

  • on September 4, 2011, 22:14 GMT

    Perhaps Watson has a point the way SL batted 1st Innings but it sounds more like the Aussie mind games of years past to put opposition on defensive. The series is only one test old so can we all hold back on predictions/pronouncements and watch the cricket. Sri Lanka didn't perform so bad overall like India in England to write them off at this stage.

  • bumsonseats on September 4, 2011, 19:50 GMT

    i know this england team have not beaten a asian team abroad, give them a chance they have not played their yet. the aussies can crow now as they have just won. but they will not get to # 1 till they beat england and that wont happen soon. dpk

  • cric_freakNo2 on September 4, 2011, 18:46 GMT

    let me remind that this series isn't over yet. the real game is yet to begin and i am confident that we will get to see some good cricket . without ponting i just cant imagine aussie team for second test.

  • Deepfreezed on September 4, 2011, 18:21 GMT

    Watson is correct. Sri Lanka will get white washed.

  • on September 4, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    I am surprised that Watson came out and said that. Australia were on top but there is a long way to go in this series. Mendis will be picked for game 2, Sri Lankan middle order (samaweera and prassana) both who I rate highly will score runs and missing pointing. I see this one as a very close game 1-1

  • mustu_cric on September 4, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    Wato being arrogant, well he can afford to be!

  • Charindra on September 4, 2011, 17:09 GMT

    I'm the most loyal SL fan, but Watson is right here. They might have won bowling first even, because SL's 1st innings batting was horrible, their overall bowling inconsistent and the captaincy much too defensive. Dilshan needs to buck up, and take a leaf out of Clarke's book on how to be aggressive with the field placement. Otherwise this will be a repeat of SL v AUS 2004 series. Sad sad sad!

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 4, 2011, 16:43 GMT

    I have always believed in Sri Lanka's strength @ home as most teams usually are. To beat SL so convincingly in the very first test goes to show that the Aussies are doing their homework regularly. Whether English fans are aware are not, the Aussies have already started a BENCHMARK on how to win in sub-continental conditions. Sadly, England don't know ANYTHING about winning in sub-continent. They have done well against India in 'home' conditions. Let's see what transpires in the future. The coming few months are gonna be interesting. I still believe Australia will become no.1 if Pup and his men play in the 'Australian' way; tough, unyielding, and sportive cricket. I expect SL to bounce back in the next test though.

  • DazTaylor on September 4, 2011, 16:39 GMT

    @Vilander Define recent times? England won in Bangladesh AND Sri Lanka in last 10 years and Pakistan in 2000. England ARE number 1 - the rankings say so. By your warped logic, India have never been world number 1 as they have never won a test series in Australia. Now please change the record - it is becoming tedious.

  • on September 4, 2011, 16:08 GMT

    @johanthonjoseps totaly agree ya and and if india plays on this kind of track with two quality spinners in india not an out of rythem bhajji but wicket taking nobody can beat them that is what home advantage is all about sri lanka just got overconfident in this match and now they have made australia confident which is dangerous

  • stormy16 on September 4, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    The way the SL's batted I think Watson's comments are valid. I also think Aus came in with a definite plan with both batting and bowling. In the batting the plan was not to get tied down with SL spinners and the bowling was to tie down the SL batters and wait for their mistakes and they executed their plans to perfection. SL's only plan seemed to be to arrive and Galle and expect to win with no real plans other than the expectation that the spinners would do the job which they did but the batsman failed miserably.

  • Vilander on September 4, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    england is not world number 1 as they havent won in subcontinent in recent times..sorry.. Aus are good beating SL in SL is very difficult.

  • bobagorof on September 4, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    @William Trieu: what exactly does Harris have to do to prove he is 'test worthy'? The guy averages 4 wickets a match, at around 20-22, and has performed in all conditions. He took a 5-fer in his last start against a vaunted batting lineup. He bowls good pace and has decent control. Copeland kept it tight throughout the match and strangled the SL batsmen - didn't get a bag of wickets himself but created a mountain of pressure that no doubt led to wickets at the other end; Mahela was run out (by Copeland) trying to accelerate after his tight spell. We'll see how he goes over the rest of the tour, but I predict he'll be around for a long time. But you're right - when SL put on a partnership they did threaten to win the match (which will happen in low-scoring matches), and yet they still lost by plenty. Australia did doubly well to win without a significant partnership of their own. They could have easily lost but didn't - don't try to sell them short. They've earned their win.

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on September 4, 2011, 14:56 GMT

    Umm when was the last time sl actually win a test match against aus anyone ?

  • on September 4, 2011, 14:49 GMT

    I must agree with watto though but if I was him i wouldn'nt wanna go overboard crowing about the performance in Galle but watch out for the dangerous Sri Lanka in their own back lard

  • HamzaAftab on September 4, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    There is no doubt Australia played very well. But Australia need depth batting. secondly they dount have match winner blower. This is really team effort. I think Usman Khawaja should give some more chances. he is really asset for Australia. pointing and Hussay are in last stage of cricket. if Australia will not give chance to young guns then it will be like Indians whose are hot cakes for England now a days. . so young players can learn lot from pointing and Hussay. so Khwaja and Shan Marsh have great future....

  • on September 4, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    Its obvious from the way SL and AUS played AUS would have won no matter who won the toss. We are supposed to be a good team on spinning tracks. But aussies beat us thouroughly even on this. If we had won the toss and lost then you guys would say that we shouldve really batted second, the pitch became slower as the game progressed and so on. Watson has every right to say this. Their batting and bowling did the talking. Now we have to fight back. Thats the way to reply to these arrogant remarks

  • landl47 on September 4, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    Of course we'll never know, but I do think the toss was more important than Watson suggests. I think also that Sri Lanka played very poorly in their first innings, Mahela (who played with ease and confidence in the second innings) was run out and Sanga got a couple of really good balls. Aus struggled in the second innings and that might be ominous for the future. However, we'll see how the second test goes. Hopefully it will be more than a three-day wicket.

  • samincolumbia on September 4, 2011, 13:26 GMT

    HAHA...Funny to see SL fans accusing Watson of being arrogant. Their plan to get their spinners a huge advantage over aussie bowlers by preparing a sub-standard pitch backfired spectacularly on their faces. It's a sign of desperation since they know their team cannot even matches in their own backyard.

    BTW, have anybody heard from Herath from UK in the past few days? LOL.

  • Percy_Fender on September 4, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    The Australians played well no doubt. But if they SLhad batted first, things may have been different in regard to the margin of defeat. I feel with the kind of bowling Australia had they would have won. They had the 6'5 plus bowler, the fast reverse swinger and the first time spin bowler, always a surprise weapon. Without Muralidharan, the going was bound to be difficult. Herath is good no doubt but he probably loses his head as we saw him do in England.Australia will always do badly against good spin. That is why Sri Lanka should play the leg spinner Prasad in lieu ofl Randiv. Dilshan's off spin is good enough. I wish Sri Lanka comes back in the next Test itself so that we can have a great 3rd Test.

  • on September 4, 2011, 13:08 GMT

    When I first saw the headline, I thought it was someone from Sri Lanka that said it. I was reading how Clarke said that the side still needs to improve and it would have been nice if Watson showed some more class himself. The only real partnership which Sri Lanka built was between Mahela and Matthews and if it wasn't for a weal tail, Australia would have been in some trouble. Johnson is still erratic and is noway the spearhead of the bowling attack, Lyon took wickets on a pitch which ponting looked dangerous on and Harris/Copeland have not proven test worthy bowlers yet.

  • WTEH on September 4, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    Come on Sri Lanka, bounce back and hit them hard in the next test. You cannot possibly give up like India. Cannot be pathetic like that. Teach these Aussie kids some manners. They cannot bark at our door step!!!!!!!!!!!

  • anandad on September 4, 2011, 12:42 GMT

    8/11 SL batsmen (73%) made less than 10 runs (including 2 ducks) in the first innings and 6/11 (55% including 4 ducks) did the same in the second. Dilshan and the batting coach should look to change strategy. Bowlers also gave too many runs to the Australian tail-enders. Someone definitely should lead from the front.

  • rohanblue on September 4, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    @ Satish Chandar K A hey dude i am also indian , i think we should get rid of fans like u before BCCI to improve our team.....

  • Wozza-CY on September 4, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    Whoa...easy tiger. One swallow doesn't make a summer. It wasn't that long ago you were chasing leather for long, long periods of time. Yes, the first test win in Galle was a good win, but SL will be much harder to beat next time round. SL were focused on imposing themselves on the debutants & inexperienced players from oz & lost their way. If Watson can bear this type of bowling responisibility consistently, he should definitely bat lower down the order...perhaps no 6. Give guys like Khwaja, Marsh, Finch, Warner a chance at the top of the order. Use Watson as the all rounder, pick the four best bowlers, best WK & top 5 batsman and the team will lose nothing.

  • on September 4, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    Funny how Australian confidence is deemed cockiness and arrogance by the rest of the world, but when the confidence comes from their opposition it's just that, confidence.

  • on September 4, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    Watson, you bascially only won this game because you won the toss and had the advantage of batting first in a spinners paradise. Show some humility next time and just admit that the conditions played more of a part than your bowlers. The only bowler I would give praise to in the Australian line up is Ryan Harris.

  • Valavan on September 4, 2011, 11:48 GMT

    Watto tries up mind games like sanga does. Given the victory is a learning curve for both aussies and SL. Both teams need tinkering. @kijek, none called here Lyon as a good spinner, look at his stats he has done nothing special in the past, it was not the same when SL speaks about mendis magic, but his magic was flattened within a year from his debut.@satish chander, know you are hurt but england is test no.1 with 8 points clear from India. india has no depth but indian fans and captain have done bachelors in giving excuses.keep up the good work aussies and Good luck for both teams at Kandy.

  • Ellis on September 4, 2011, 11:45 GMT

    The bottom line is that Australia won, SL lost. Watson can say anything or nothing and that would still be the bottom line. SL fans are always in the " if only" scenario.The fact is a poor wicket was prepared, Australian fast bowlers got more wickets than expected, Australia batted and fielded better than SL, and Australia won. If the Pallekelle wicket is not doctored but plays true to form, Australia have the advantage because of their pace attack. However, the Australian batting is not strong and can be put under major pressure. That said, the " brains trust" of selectors, strategisers and hangers-on that guides SL cricket will no doubt come up with a scenario that puts SL at a disadvantage. The SL team itself must wonder when they will be left alone to play cricket. Losing the ODI series, and possibly the Test series, to this Australian team is not a pleasant prospect.

  • jonesy2 on September 4, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    oh course we would have won the wicket got easier to bat on as the match went on...somehow. i tell you want i find funny is everybody thinking australia are weaker now but failing to realise that australia are never going to be weak.

  • KingOwl on September 4, 2011, 11:37 GMT

    I agree Aus may have won batting second too - but that was because the win did not have much to do with the toss. SL did not apply themselves when batting. They have made 500 scores against stronger attacks in Galle and that was what they were aiming at. They just totally misread this particular wicket when batting in the first innings, and committed suicide. After that batting performance, it was nearly impossible for any team to come back on a tough wicket.

  • on September 4, 2011, 11:12 GMT

    a spell of reverse swing? is that what you call it when the ball hits a spot on a good length and either jumps shoulder high or skids through knee high? (which is coincidentally how watson got all of his wickets bar sangakarra in the 2nd innings) quite sure aussies would've struggled if lanka batted first and even got 220 on the first day...id like to see this bowling attack do the same job at the SSC on a flat track

  • on September 4, 2011, 11:04 GMT

    Where is the pride guys ? Getting beaten on home soil against a team which isn't 10% of the Australian team of the past decade.... Where is the fight? And now on the receiving end of comments like this...Seriously!

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on September 4, 2011, 10:45 GMT

    Australia are now at the point England were after the 06/07 Ashes. They're about 5 years or so behind. Australia fans shouldn't be too disheartened though: England may have the better bowlers, batsmen etc and be the better team but if they keep training hard and playing to win, they will improve. What's good for England fans is that nobody can dispute that they are world number one by a country mile.

  • bumsonseats on September 4, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    ok watson u won dont get carried away. SL took the chance that they would win the toss. i think u should be looking at your spinner although taking wickets in the 1st innings .looked so inafective at the time, most spinners should come into their own. to only take 1 wicket the last 1. i think u have still not found your spinner yet. dpk

  • Rickz69 on September 4, 2011, 10:10 GMT

    watson is way too cocky, the toss did matter, im sure sri lanka will give them a pounding next test match,

  • on September 4, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    Had India played as a group and executed the plans well, they would have whitewashed England!! Mr.Watson.. The track was increasingly unplayable as the match progressed.. One team should have got the toss advantage and it was your team.. But congrats on the good performance of your team... Hope you guys bring more competition to the top slot in tests..

  • stickboy on September 4, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    hmmm dont get too arrogant watson. i like ya and you're an awesome player, but youve got a tendency to be a bit too arrogant at times. sri lanka could have done much better with the bat. they've worked lyon out it seems already

  • SagirParkar on September 4, 2011, 9:41 GMT

    now that is the attitude to go into a series !!! way to go Watto.. way to go Aussies !!!!

  • johnathonjosephs on September 4, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    To be real honest, even though Sri Lanka lost, I would be very happy if the curators could make all the pitches like this. It will make oversea series a lot easier since the conditions will be a little more similar(not the typical flat tracks Sri Lanka usually have)... The Sri Lankan players will just have to get used to the pitches (Batsman in particular). Problem with Sri Lankan players is, once they get seniority (Sanga/Mahela/Dilshan/etc), they tend to not play in first class matches and only in T20s. I think Sanga has played more Tests than first class matches (first class includes the ones on tour when Sri Lanka plays a foreign team like somerset/india A/Australia A/etc)

  • on September 4, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    when aussies goes well then say these types of stuffs, we'll see them in near future.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on September 4, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    when aussies goes well then say these types of stuffs, we'll see them in near future.

  • johnathonjosephs on September 4, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    To be real honest, even though Sri Lanka lost, I would be very happy if the curators could make all the pitches like this. It will make oversea series a lot easier since the conditions will be a little more similar(not the typical flat tracks Sri Lanka usually have)... The Sri Lankan players will just have to get used to the pitches (Batsman in particular). Problem with Sri Lankan players is, once they get seniority (Sanga/Mahela/Dilshan/etc), they tend to not play in first class matches and only in T20s. I think Sanga has played more Tests than first class matches (first class includes the ones on tour when Sri Lanka plays a foreign team like somerset/india A/Australia A/etc)

  • SagirParkar on September 4, 2011, 9:41 GMT

    now that is the attitude to go into a series !!! way to go Watto.. way to go Aussies !!!!

  • stickboy on September 4, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    hmmm dont get too arrogant watson. i like ya and you're an awesome player, but youve got a tendency to be a bit too arrogant at times. sri lanka could have done much better with the bat. they've worked lyon out it seems already

  • on September 4, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    Had India played as a group and executed the plans well, they would have whitewashed England!! Mr.Watson.. The track was increasingly unplayable as the match progressed.. One team should have got the toss advantage and it was your team.. But congrats on the good performance of your team... Hope you guys bring more competition to the top slot in tests..

  • Rickz69 on September 4, 2011, 10:10 GMT

    watson is way too cocky, the toss did matter, im sure sri lanka will give them a pounding next test match,

  • bumsonseats on September 4, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    ok watson u won dont get carried away. SL took the chance that they would win the toss. i think u should be looking at your spinner although taking wickets in the 1st innings .looked so inafective at the time, most spinners should come into their own. to only take 1 wicket the last 1. i think u have still not found your spinner yet. dpk

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on September 4, 2011, 10:45 GMT

    Australia are now at the point England were after the 06/07 Ashes. They're about 5 years or so behind. Australia fans shouldn't be too disheartened though: England may have the better bowlers, batsmen etc and be the better team but if they keep training hard and playing to win, they will improve. What's good for England fans is that nobody can dispute that they are world number one by a country mile.

  • on September 4, 2011, 11:04 GMT

    Where is the pride guys ? Getting beaten on home soil against a team which isn't 10% of the Australian team of the past decade.... Where is the fight? And now on the receiving end of comments like this...Seriously!

  • on September 4, 2011, 11:12 GMT

    a spell of reverse swing? is that what you call it when the ball hits a spot on a good length and either jumps shoulder high or skids through knee high? (which is coincidentally how watson got all of his wickets bar sangakarra in the 2nd innings) quite sure aussies would've struggled if lanka batted first and even got 220 on the first day...id like to see this bowling attack do the same job at the SSC on a flat track