Sri Lanka v India, 2nd Test, SSC, 2nd day July 27, 2010

Ojha backs batsmen to match mammoth score

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Pragyan Ojha, the Indian left-arm spinner who toiled for 46 overs for one wicket on an unresponsive SSC pitch, believes that India should be able to bat their way out of trouble, with three days remaining in the Test.

"It's a very good wicket to bat on," Ojha said. "You have seen it for the last two days. Once you're set, you can just bat on. These guys [the Sri Lankan batsmen] have showed that as long as you can avoid silly mistakes, you're going to get a good score."

In reply to Sri Lanka's 642 for 4 declared, India made a positive start in the final hour of the second day, reaching 95 without loss. Virender Sehwag raced away to an unbeaten fifty, and the Sri Lankan attack - sans Murali and Malinga - didn't cause many problems. Ojha doesn't expect too much wear and tear on the pitch in the coming days.

"The way things are going, I don't think our batsmen will have any problem," Ojha said. "The wicket is rock-solid, and I just hope that our guys bat on and on."

Ojha and his bowling mates haven't had a great time on the trip so far, and the pitch at the SSC didn't give them much chance either. "There wasn't much turn for me," Ojha said. "It was coming on to the bat with the new ball and the old ball wasn't doing much.

"As a bowler, especially as a spinner, all you can do is to do the basics right, keep it tight and just make the batsmen struggle for each and every run. They shouldn't [be allowed to] get it easily."

This was the seventh straight time that India lost the toss in Tests. In Sri Lanka it becomes a big factor for touring teams, because the hosts are very good at ruling out a defeat once they win the toss in a home Test. "I think winning or losing the toss is not in our hands," Ojha said. "We would have liked to bowl second. If we would have got the amount of runs the Sri Lankans have got, it would have been different."

Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • fadms on July 28, 2010, 8:22 GMT

    Dream on Ojha.....Indians are gonna be buried

  • jackiethepen on July 28, 2010, 6:31 GMT

    This game is reminiscent of the appalling match at Barbados when the Windies prepared a dead flat pitch to bat on after winning the first game. What meaning does a century or a double century have on such pitches? The game was terrible to watch - I know I was there - and such pitches are killing Test cricket. We've just witnessed a thriller at Headingley because bowlers had a chance but how does that affect rankings and batting stats? While batsmen are chastened for not getting big centuries instead of being praised for winning games, then this will continue....

  • usman_nile1994 on July 28, 2010, 5:16 GMT

    ICC should do something for pak ind and sl. So bad pitches. Icc should order these countries to build bowler-friendly pitches. This is the main reason asians fail outside asia. There should pitches like England. Every neutral fan would want to see Aus Pak decisive thrilling series instead of ind sl run-feast series

  • tareks_bangladesh on July 28, 2010, 5:03 GMT

    Extra- 'ordinary' bowling attack of India:D

  • Sunman81 on July 28, 2010, 4:25 GMT

    There are plenty of talks on the dying interest on test cricket.... Not sure the Srilankan and Indian board are thinking of anything to save it. Test cricket was once called as a battle between bat and ball, but here only the bat seems to be dominating... The cricket boards should blame themselves for the decline of Test cricket!

  • KAIRAVA on July 28, 2010, 3:35 GMT

    Why do most of the times the Indian bowlers speak of their batsman in such a confident manner?? Where is that confidence while they bowl at their opposition?? Why can't the batsman themselves do similar morale boosting talk when they are ready to bat in such a demanding situation??

  • Joji_ on July 28, 2010, 3:08 GMT

    When Ojha says that he tried to make the batsmen struggle for each run, made my day!!!

  • dummy4fb on July 28, 2010, 2:10 GMT

    The toss should be had only once in a series, i.e. on the first match and the loser of the toss should have the first say in the second match. The decision to bat or bowl should be alternated each match of the series. This way one could avoid the toss being one-sided for the entire series.

    Secondly, cricket under ICC should never be held during rainy seasons. This deprives the paying public of not only the money's worth but the long-term interest in the game too.

    I hope the ICC take these suggestions into account.

  • dummy4fb on July 28, 2010, 1:17 GMT

    india will show the srilanka why they r best in the world atleast when it comes to batting viru,vijay,dravid,sachin,vvs,raina,dhoni and bhaji have the desire and make the lankans sweet

  • CKfrombrisbane on July 28, 2010, 1:16 GMT

    So many excuses! BUT BOTH TEAMS GETS THE SAME BENIFITS OF THE PITCH. So you cannot use these nonsense as excuses.

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