Sri Lanka coach says India can bounce back

July 30th, 2008 - 8:30 pm ICT by IANS  

By Rex Clementine
Galle (Sri Lanka), July 30 (IANS) Sri Lanka might have pounded India in the first Test but coach Trevor Bayliss is not resting easy. In fact, Baylisss is expecting India to fight back after their disappointing start to the series. “I guess every team kind of has that sort of a bad game. That’s part and parcel of the sport. We’ve been in similar kind of situations. We expect India to bounce back stronger,” Bayliss said.

“It was the perfect game for us. There were four guys who got starts and went onto make hundreds. And then two guys ran through the opposition backed up by excellent fielding,” the Australian added.

India’s fielding coach Robin Singh too backed his team saying they can level the three Test series by winning the second Test at the Galle International Cricket Stadium that begins Thursday.

India suffered their third biggest defeat in Tests but Robin insisted that India had shown character in previous instances when pushed to the wall and is capable of doing the same here.

“The basic fact is that we didn’t play good cricket. We have to pick ourselves up, and we are up for that. We did that in England, we did that in Australia. Everyone is up for it and everyone is preparing in their own way,’ Singh told reporters.

One major concern for India was their fielding as the tourists put down chances off all four Sri Lankan centurions.

Skipper Mahela Jayawardene was dropped on two instances while Malinda Warnapura, Thilan Samaraweera and Tillekeratne Dilshan were also given a lifeline each.

“Catching is something you always have to work on. It’s probably the first game of the series, and most guys came in to it without too much actual cricket. It’s one of those things, but generally speaking we are a good catching side,” Robin added.

The Indians were also baffled by Sri Lanka’s mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis, who claimed eight wickets during the Test and proved to be a perfect foil for ace-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who ended up with 11 wickets.

Robin was pretty confident that the Indians would get a hang of Mendis the more they play him. “I don’t know about the myth or mystery because I don’t play. I think somebody will work out in time how to play him, and I’m sure the moment one guy play him well, and if we get a good start, we will see a totally different scenario in the Test.”

Galle is a Sri Lankan stronghold with the hosts having won six of the 12 Tests here. There only defeats at this venue have come against Pakistan (2000) and Australia (2004). Three of Sri Lanka wins here have been by an innings while they have won two games by ten wicket margins and the remaining by 315 runs. India last played here in 2001 and were beaten by ten wickets.

The stadium was completely destroyed by the December 26th tsunami, but was reconstructed with great pain. The first Test at the reconstructed ground was played last year when England toured Sri Lanka.

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