Bangar: Conditions were tough for batsmen

Since much of the play was under floodlights, Bangar said, “It almost seemed like a day-night match with a red ball. It became difficult to spot the ball.”

On Suranga Lakmal’s spell, Sri Lankan fast bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayake said, “I am not sure if it’s the best but it was one of the finest I have seen for a long, long time. Having said that, the wicket was very receptive and it’s going to be a big challenge for us.”   -  AFP

It was a testing outing for the Indian batsmen on a brief but compelling first day here on Thursday.

Batting coach Sanjay Bangar said, “The conditions were very tough for the batsmen. We also did not get an extended passage of play where the batsman could have found their rhythm.”

Since much of the play was under floodlights, Bangar said, “It almost seemed like a day-night match with a red ball. It became difficult to spot the ball.”

Commenting on playing on such a green track at home, Bangar said, “This Indian team does not want to play on easy wickets. It wants to challenge itself and play in tough conditions.”

India vs SL: Day 1 report

Asked about Suranga Lakmal’s incisive spell, Bangar said, “He’s an experienced bowler, the conditions suited him and he hit the right areas. There were very little Rahul and Kohli could do about deliveries that dismissed them.”

On Shikhar Dhawan’s loose shot that led to his dismissal, Bangar said, “He’s a stroke-maker. That’s how he plays. We do not want to change or limit his game.”

Dwelling on India playing five bowlers, Bangar said, “We have in Ashwin, Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar and Saha all-rounders who add depth to the line-up. This gives us the confidence to play five bowlers and not go for an extra batsman.”

Weighing in on Suranga Lakmal’s three-wicket burst, Sri Lankan fast bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayake said, “I am not sure if it’s the best but it was one of the finest I have seen for a long, long time. Having said that, the wicket was very receptive and it’s going to be a big challenge for us.”

On what his advice to the pacemen was in these conditions, Ratnayake said, “It was very simple, we had to keep the ball up. As much as we push the batsmen back, it is very important that we keep it up because, as you may have seen, the movement or the vulnerability was more as the bowler pitched it up and within the wicket.”

Ratnayake was not willing to commit himself on a par score on this pitch. “The Indian team might say 250, we could have a different number. When the pitch is like this, it is 50-50 for both sides.”

Asked what he and the team expected from the Eden Garden, he said, “Message was that there will be a big crowd and ‘don’t be rattled by the noise.’ It was not a packed house but it still is a big ground and it was a green wicket. And we had nothing to lose when we came here. Our boys are ready for the challenge.”

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