Bayliss backs bowlers

“Everyone knows it’s a very good batting wicket and very difficult for the bowlers,” the Sri Lanka coach said on Thursday. “We’ve been striving over a period of time to be consistent and have discipline, and we showed that. We made it as difficult as possible for the Indians to score. It is not often that on such a good batting wicket, the Indians score less than 300 for two days in a row. It’s a great effort.”

Bayliss refused to be too critical of the surface, too. “We would all enjoy a better cricket wicket. We recently came back from India where there were some flat wickets, as well as Pakistan last year where we scored 600 and 700. This is not the only wicket in the world that is flat, but thankfully, it doesn’t happen all that often.”

There was praise for debutant centurion Suresh Raina. “He is a very good batter, a good fielder and he bowls a little bit,” Bayliss said. “He deserves his place in the Indian Test team. He showed he wants a position there as well, he showed his class in his first innings.”

As for Sachin Tendulkar, he had this to say, “Everyone knows he can bat! After those three quick wickets, if we were able to take another one or two, the game could have been different. We put one catch down when Sachin was on 29. It was a reasonably easy chance, but I am by no means blaming the ’keeper (Prasanna Jayawardene) who is one of the best in the world. The great players don’t get any more luck than anyone else. They just take advantage of that luck and Sachin’s certainly done that in this match.”

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