It will not be easy against the Lankans, says Dhoni

“Nothing is easy in international cricket,” the Indian skipper said on Sunday afternoon. “You may miss the most experienced bowlers but there will be youngsters standing up trying to fill the shoes. We must keep in mind that even the most experienced guy was a rookie to start with. It’s not so much about whom you are missing. What matters is who is filling the gap, who will do the job for you.”

The return of Ajantha Mendis has evoked much interest, especially given that he had undermined India with 26 wickets in 2008. “There is definitely more exposure to Mendis now,” Dhoni remarked. “Most of us have played him in the past quite a few times. That really helps in judging what variations he has, the general strategy. From an unknown quantity then, he is now a player about whose strengths and weaknesses we are aware of. It will be an interesting face-off because our batting line-up is one of the best. Especially because last time most of our batsmen couldn’t read his deliveries or couldn’t do as well as expected, I think it will be a nice-off.”

The preparation for this game, Dhoni said, was no different from that for the first Test. “The preparation remains the same, whether it is the first Test or the second, whether you have won the first Test or lost it. It is very important to prepare well for every game because it is preparation that helps you perform well on the field. As a team, we need do the basics right because we all know what mistakes were committed on the field. You can commit mistakes but the longer the duration is between two mistakes, the better player you are.

“The general thinking is we could have batted a lot better than we did in Galle. We are trying to rectify the problems. The dressing room atmosphere is back to normal. We are not thinking too much about what happened in the last Test, though it’s always good to see what went wrong in the last game and how you can solve it.”

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