Dhoni, Sangakkara differ on Motera featherbed

Indian captain MS Dhoni described the Motera featherbed as a bowler-hostile track but his Sri Lankan counterpart Kumar Sangakkara had no issues.

updated: November 20, 2009 12:05 IST
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Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Friday described the Motera featherbed as a bowler-hostile track but his Sri Lankan counterpart Kumar Sangakkara had no issues with the strip which he described as a "true" wicket.

Dhoni said the pitch lacked bounce and it also did not deteriorate after the third day, as he had expected.

"We were expecting a batting pitch but thought it would deteriorate after the third day. But it did not. It also lacked bounce. At the end it did not help any bowler - pacers or spinners," Dhoni said after the first Test ended in a draw.

Sangakkara, however, differed with Dhoni, saying despite the drawn match the pitch was the ultimate winner.

"Ultimately, the winner is the wicket. It stayed true for five days. The Indians showed a lot of spunk to save the match," the visiting captain said.

A staggering 1598 runs were scored over five days, including seven centuries, while just 21 wickets fell in the Test.

Sangakkara's colleague and man of the match Mahela Jayawardene was, however, disappointed with the wicket on which he notched up his first triple-figure score in India.

"I thought it would deteriorate but it did very slowly. I lacked pace and bounce. Otherwise our spinners would have got a few of Indian wickets in their second innings and would have put pressure on them. That was the disappointment," said Jayawardene who scored 275.

There was little help for the bowlers from the pitch, but Dhoni felt his bowlers could have been a little more disciplined in line.

"Overall, I am happy with my bowlers but they could have been a little more disciplined in line as we spilled some. But we were never worried about batting to save the match as most of us got the starts in the first innings," said Dhoni.

"The series will be a close one and and we have to show discipline in bowling," he added.

Sangakkara was also not too disappointed with the drawn result though he felt his side could have tightened the screw a bit when India were in trouble early in their first innings.

"We cannot be too disappointed though we let off India after the first day morning session. Credit to them (India) they batted well after that," said the Lankan captain.

"We go to Kanpur (for the second Test) with lots of positives. The way Mahela (Jayawardene), Prasanna (Jayawardene) and (Tillakaratne) Dilshan batted it was a bit disappointment that we could not win here," he said.

He was happy that the youngsters in the team had come out with flying colours.

"Rangana Herath was told on the morning of first day that he would play and he did well. Dammika Prasad also did well. So, all the youngsters did well they put up their hands and took up their responsibilities."