Sri Lanka v India, 3rd ODI, Colombo July 29, 2012

'Sangakkara injury provides useful break' - Jayawardene


Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said that although Kumar Sangakkara's injury was unfortunate, it was good in a way as it allowed Sangakkara an overdue break from cricket ahead of the World Twenty20 tournament in September. "He hasn't had a break for nearly two years so if you look at it that way, it's unfortunate but he gets a deserving break. Hopefully he will get fit for the World Cup [World Twenty20]," Jayawardene said.

"Kumar behind the wickets is always the added factor for me as a captain because he sees things and he can analyse them and let me know certain things. It's a big opportunity for him [Dinesh Chandimal, who is] keeping wickets after a long time."

Kumar Sangakkara felt some pain after being hit by Ashok Dinda but decided to bat on, Mahela Jayawardene said. Sangakkara was on 23 off 29 deliveries when he was struck on the glove by a short ball and went on to make 73 off 95 before falling to Dinda. A scan showed later that Sangakkara had fractured a finger on his right hand, putting him out of action for at least four weeks.

"Sanga said that he had pain but he could bat through," Jayawardene said. "He knew there was pain but it wasn't really bad when you are in that situation. When [he is] batting in the middle he will bat through, but he did feel it so that's probably why he didn't go for big shots. I just told him to just bat through [the innings]."

Jayawardene backed his decision to bat first, despite recent results showing that the relaid Premadasa pitch favours teams batting second. Eight of eleven games at the ground since 2011 have been won by the chasing side.

"When we put runs on the board it is always easier for a side to put pressure [on the opposition]. Even after being 20 for 3, we ended up with 286. I thought if we had a good start we probably could have scored more runs. I thought we came back into the game when they were 180 for 4 after the [batting] Powerplay. I think the way we bowled in the last ten overs and obviously the lost opportunities [while fielding] probably cost us the game. We had them [under pressure] in certain situations, but just couldn't finish it off."

With India needing 65 off 44, Sachithra Senanayake, substituting for Sangakkara, dropped Suresh Raina on 19. Raina went on to make a match-winning unbeaten 65. Jayawardene, however, said Sri Lanka's fielding was largely good. "The ground fielding was excellent except for the couple of fumbles but we will definitely look into it because that's an area which we take a lot of pride in ourselves - our fielding."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SamRoy on July 31, 2012, 5:28 GMT

    @nilankaraja How can you compare MJ with Dhoni? When it comes to captaincy, just like batting or bowling, the judging barometer for captaincy is test match captaincy. Dhoni is not a good test captain, extremely defensive and lets the game drift away. Mahela is an imaginative test captain (though nowadays is a bit short of bowling resources and to win test matches regularly the primary requirement is a good bowling line up) though Michael Clarke is probably the best captain right now (I won't blame Clarke for the weak Australian batting and injury prone Australian bowling). MJ in my view is the second best test captain in world cricket currently after Clarke. Dhoni with his defensive containing mindset and his calm demeanor is only good as an ODI captain.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on July 31, 2012, 4:10 GMT

    @Asitha18, I do agree with u. We need FLAT PITCH KINGS like Kapu coming at No 3 and hammer around the ground. All indian batters are FLAT PITCH KINGS. We also need few KINGS rather than test batsmen. Hope SL can win next 2 games to win the FLAT PITCH KING TROPHY !!!!!

  • Asitha18 on July 31, 2012, 3:02 GMT

    Its time to change SL batting order. Need more explosive batsmen to challenge IND batting order. Kapugdara should open with Dilshan specially on Flat pitches and in T20 WC. Thesra & Mathew should bat. Mahroof need in team.

  • dummy4fb on July 31, 2012, 2:53 GMT

    The difference between SL & IND is the batting order. IND top order is much stronger than SL test players. SL have a strong lower order (Mathew, Thesara, etc) in the world. The problem for SL, lower batsmen most of the time don't get a opportunity to bat in the 50 overs.

  • cravin on July 31, 2012, 2:43 GMT

    If we substitute another accumulator for no 3, results will be no difference. Its time to give more attacking basemen Kapugdara number 3 spot. T20 WC just around the corner he need to get his confidence back. Otherwise SL top order will be senior accumulators.

  • damith91 on July 30, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    Give kapugedara a chance at num 3.he is a good middle order player.he got lot of most of them were at num 6 or he must get a chance at num 3 or 4...

  • LALITHKURUWITA on July 30, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    Kapugedera is one of the KINGS in FLAT PITCH not like SANGA. So Kapu should bat at No 3 if SL needs to win next 2 matches to win the FLAT PITCH KING TROPHY.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on July 30, 2012, 9:19 GMT

    Kapugedera should bat at No 3.

  • dummy4fb on July 30, 2012, 8:35 GMT

    good opertunity for chandimal....y not try angelo perera another good allrounder ofthe combination of mathews and thisara. i think selectors will have to pick him once he gets clicked in the slpl.. lets show them that we too are grooming some fine young talent

  • Narbavi on July 30, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    @BravoBravo: Am i seeing jealousy mate??

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