Poor batting cost us the Test - Sangakkara
Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has admitted that poor batting on the fourth day cost his team the third and final Test against India at the P Sara Oval.
"On the fourth morning I thought in the first session if we had just tried to bat till lunch the ball would have got softer and we could have scored a lot more runs. But unfortunately, we played some poor strokes," Sangakkara said. "We were a bit too tentative at times and the batting in the second innings by the seven batsmen, except for Thilan (Samaraweera) was probably the main cause for us getting only 267. Otherwise we could have batted out the day and put the heavy roller on today and declared.
"We had a couple of chances today with Sachin (Tendulkar) and Suresh Raina. That would have made the match a lot more interesting. But the way they batted was excellent. They played positively and kept scoring runs. Unfortunately, apart from Suraj (Randiv) and Lasith (Malinga) we weren't able to exert pressure from the other end, either to take wickets or cut down the runs."
Sangakkara stated he would have liked to have got close to 300 but added that, "given the situation we were in, it was a great effort by Ajantha (Mendis) and Thilan to get us to 267. Again you know a few chances went begging, which would have allowed us to get another 50 runs lead in the first innings.
"Unfortunately, it's been like that in the last two Tests. A few chances here and there and they ended up crucial."
Sangakkara pointed out the dropped catch by Tillakaratne Dilshan off Sachin Tendulkar as one of those key chances.
"It would have been nice to get Sachin out with something like 110 runs to play with, 120 runs at that time. Those things happen in cricket, no one wants to miss a catch at this level when you are playing with so much at stake. The chances we put down in this Test and the last one, proved to be crucial and costly. We have to make sure it doesn't happen again," he said.
As far the bowlers were concerned, he praised the bowling effort of Randiv who took five wickets in the Indian second innings and nine in the match.
"Suraj's greatest asset has been his confidence and self belief. He's got great bounce and he will have to improve on his control a bit more to ensure he keeps building the pressure with dot balls and wicket-taking balls. Once he gets that done, I think he will be even better than what we see him now as."
Sangakkara denied that the defeat had given India a moral victory. "Not really, one all is one all. It's neither here nor there. I thought right throughout the Test we took more wickets and scored more runs. We created a lot more opportunities as well. But converting those opportunities in these two Tests wasn't there. It was the only window India had to come back into this series."