Sri Lankan opener Kaushal Silva has asserted the need for his team to bat well in the morning session on Saturday, day three of the second cricket Test against India at the P Sara Oval.
Thanks to his 51 runs, the hosts finished day two at 140/3, adrift of India's first-innings total of 393 by 253 runs. "I think we are in a solid position. The first hour tomorrow is going to be crucial for us. That session, if we bat without giving a wicket, then we can put pressure back on them. We need to bat positively and we need to take steps to do that right," Silva said after the day's play.
Talking about the morning's session where India were bowled out, Silva said, "We had to restrict runs. They had bowlers to come, but we didn't take them lightly. Amit Mishra batted well. Wriddhiman Saha batted well too. I thought we restricted them to a good total."
Lanka lost an early wicket to Umesh Yadav, but then Silva had a 74-run partnership for the second wicket with the retiring Kumar Sangakkara. The opener almost got out to Stuart Binny as well, but survived on account of a no-ball and was able to complete his 9th Test fifty.
"The wicket was quite slow. It was a bit tough. We had to stay there and fight hard. We had a good partnership going on and my wicket was bit too much and at the end a loss for us. At that point I was trying to put pressure on Mishra. He was bowling well. Had I executed that shot I would have achieved my target. But I failed. I need to work on that,” said the batsman.
Talking about any emotions playing during the partnership with Sangakkara, he added, "It was quite emotional. Kumar is a fantastic player. He will be missed. When I go out to bat there's no point of thinking that. The main thing is focusing on partnerships. The emotions were there back in your mind. The pitch is playing true for the batsmen at the moment, although there are signs of wear and tear. But nothing to cause alarm even on day three perhaps.
"If we play positive against spinners we will have a chance of putting pressure on them like we did in Galle. It is not threatening yet but it will start to spin. It's dry and slow as well. It won't spin quickly but slowly. You have to be positive. We did that in the last game," Silva signed off.