Sri Lanka’s batting coach Hashan Tillakaratne whilst admitting that his team batted “poorly” yesterday was hopeful they would come up with a much better performance in the second innings today, the third day of the third Test against India at the Pallekele International Stadium.
Sri Lanka were shot out for a disappointing 135 in their first innings in reply to India’s score of 487 and after being forced to follow-on 352 runs in arrears were 19 for one at close in their second innings.
“It’s a disappointing day we batted so poorly I am sure the boys have realised where they went wrong and I am sure they will come up with a better plan tomorrow,” said Tillakaratne at the end of the day. “There are so many things that you can say when the team is not doing too well this is the time we must back these guys and give them the confidence.”
At this stage Sri Lanka can do with a Hashan Tillakaratne in their side. The obdurate left-hander was a solid rock in the Lankan team of the past and if some of the present batsmen can bat as half as good as he was they could get somewhere towards avoiding an innings defeat.
“We thought after the second innings of the second Test that we had laid a very good platform but we couldn’t box on after that, we need to be patient with them,” said Tillakaratne who played in 63 Tests and scored 11 Test hundreds for his country.
“We won 3-0 against Australia with the same side but we are a little down in confidence just that we need one or two guys to put up their hands and do a miracle. I am sure the boys are very much confident and they want to do something.”
Tillakaratne explained the lack of confidence came from their ability to play spin.
“Even in the Zimbabwe series we couldn’t cope with spin but in the second innings of the Zimbabwe Test and the second innings of the SSC Test against India the boys played really well but there was no continuity,” said Tillakaratne.
“We are playing against the no 1 side in the world and I am not seeking for any excuses. These boys are well experienced but they do a lot of mistakes while batting. If we can forget what has happened and look for the future, dig deep and bat long that’s what we are planning to do. We always talk positive things in the dressing room but the only thing is that we can’t execute our plans in the middle,” he said.
Tillakaratne said that it was hurting to see the team fold up for such small totals and that they were working hard towards better performance.
“The boys are doing their level best, their work ethics are brilliant it’s just that we need to be a little patient,” Tillakaratne said. “The players who are playing today are the best we have at the moment we must give them the fullest support and they will bring results. Everyone makes mistakes and what we are trying to do is to reduce the number of mistakes.
“From here we cannot go down any further but only up. As the support staff we are giving every bit of backing to the players they are the ones who go out in the middle and perform. We are doing what we can to help them. We need to give them a little more time to get the desired results.”