“You change your plans a bit, but the attitude remains the same,” the Sri Lankan skipper told newsmen. “All bowlers are different. How you plan with Lasith to take a wicket is different from with Welegedara, Prasad or Dilhara. They are all effective in their own way.
You need to make sure you adapt to the situation and the wickets we are faced with and how the batsmen are scoring. As long as we keep to our plan, whatever surprises come our way can be overcome. Test cricket is about being consistent. It’s going to be a challenge, but I am sure the boys are going to enjoy it.”
Sangakkara welcomed the return of Ajantha Mendis with open arms. “Unfortunately for him, he took 26 wickets in his first Test series, and six for 13 in his first big one-day final (Asia Cup 2008). People have been expecting him to do that over and over again, but it doesn’t work that way. He’s also played a lot of cricket against India. The more you play, players get used to you better.”
Asked if that meant there was pressure on the comeback man because India had ‘worked’ him out, Sangakkara replied, “It depends on the term ‘working out’. Before the last Test, everyone seemed to have worked out Murali, but he ended up taking eight wickets. It’s never a case of working someone out. If you don’t play properly, the bowlers are there with a chance. If you are accurate and keep bowling in the right areas, making the batsman play, the batsman can’t not make a mistake. Mendis is no different. The more he bowls on the spot, the more he puts pressure on the batsmen.”
Sri Lanka have scored a mountain of runs at the SSC, but Sangakkara said that would have no bearing in this game even in terms of mindset. “The aim is to always score runs, whether it’s Tests or ODIs,” he replied. “It doesn’t make a difference. We try to be positive and make good judgement calls on the strokes we play. But we look to score runs and be positive.”