Bowlers executed plans well: Mahela

The Lanka skipper praised his bowlers for executing their plans well. He quipped that Murali would have taken 40 wickets if not for Mendis.

updated: August 16, 2008 09:17 IST
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Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene on Monday gave credit to his bowlers for executing well their plan of destabilising Indian batting by early removal of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly.

"Sachin Tendulkar was a big part of their batting line up. They do bank a lot on Sachin, Rahul and probably Sourav. We knew that those guys in the middle had to be controlled somehow," Jayawardene said.

"Virender Sehwag is really batting well. But he plays a different game all together. Those three guys are the ones who actually take the innings along and built on big innings and take the game away from you.

"We had lot of discussions on how to do it. We attacked them from the game one. We did not let them get to any easy start. We put lot of pressure on them. We bowled to good areas. We bowled to certain plans we had. That probably was the difference," he said after series clinching 8-wicket win with a day to spare in the third and final Test.

Jayawardene said his bowlers kept the visitors under pressure by going hard at them.

"At the start of the series we were really up against a good challenge. Our guys really went hard at them and kept the pressure going. Credit to the bowlers. It was a good Test match wicket. Both teams initially bowled very well to create pressure. I don't see the wicket contributed that much here," he added.

Jayawardene praised his team for keeping their standard high making a comeback after the losing the second Test in Galle.

"It was a very hard series drained a lot out of us but I think Sri Lankans showed lot of character especially to come back from Galle Test match.

"I am very happy with the players because they played very good cricket. Although we lost the Galle Test match, I think we still played very good cricket. We kept the standards high. We fought and never gave up.

"Credit should go to the whole team. Difference was we had contributions from different players. That is probably the most pleasing thing for me," he added.

Asked if Ajantha Mendis had not taken the wickets, he quipped, "Then Muralitharan would have picked up 40 wickets".