Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said his side fell 30-40 runs short of a competitive total after losing to India by four wickets in the triangular series match at perth.
“We felt we were probably 30-40 runs short of our target. We had a good start. We just had to have one more big partnership, we would have been around 260-270. That was our target but we fell short of,” said Jayawardene.
One of the reasons Sri Lanka couldn’t click with the bat was Ravichandran Ashwin’s fine spell of off-spin bowling. “Ashwin bowled really bowled well. But he is Ashwin. A tall bowler,” Mahela said.
Sri Lanka did try to attack the Indian batting and even when the powerplay was not on, at one stage, Sri Lanka had seven fielders in the ring in a bid to take wickets.
“When you are defending 230, you are trying to save as many singles as possible. The only way we would win this one-day game was by picking up wickets. I didn’t mind them scoring boundaries. It was a tough wicket to get singles. I didn’t want them to get that.”
Unfortunately, for Sri Lanka, Lasith Malinga was not at his best and picked up only one wicket, conceding 49 runs from his nine overs.
“Lasith did bowl his yorkers. But with two new balls, it doesn’t reverse that quickly. Any other day, he would have probably picked up a couple of wickets. But I don’t fault the bowlers.
“The attitude and hunger was there on the field. The fielding was fantastic. The bowling was very aggressive.”
Jayawardene said he was nervous going into the game as a captain, reappointed.
“I was nervous going for the toss today, to be honest. But you know, after that once the game started, it was fine. Hopefully, it will be the same as usual.”
Sri Lanka next face Australia on Friday and Jayawardene said his side would be up for the challenge.
“We have to be smart to beat them. We know what their strengths are. We know what our strengths are. Certain situations we didn’t handle better than India. India handled better than us. That’s why they won.
“Against Australia, we will be in certain situations we have to handle them in a much smarter and better way. We will try to be on top of them and try and finish the game off.”
Mahela pointed out that Australia’s bowling line-up was not all that strong.
“Right now, it’s their bowling probably (which is the weak-link). (Ryan) Harris has come back after injury. He is a decent bowler but they are still missing quite a few frontline guys. That’s an area we can target. Overall they are a strong side. They have got good batting. But with any strong batting line-up we need to pick up wickets. We need to come up with a game plan to do that.”