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'Exceptional show from Murali and Mendis'

After being defeated from Lanka, Kumble re-emphasised that it was Murali who posed the biggest threat, and not Mendis, despite his eight wickets, reports Anand Vasu.ScorecardFull coverage: Mission Sri Lanka

cricket Updated: Jul 28, 2008 12:15 IST
Anand Vasu

There are times when it helps to look back and analyse exactly what went wrong in a game. But in situations like this, where everything possible went wrong, it may be prudent to just consign the past to history and look forward.

Anil Kumble tried to do that, asserting that there was nothing fundamentally wrong with the team.

“There is no need to look at a change in technique. No other line up is more technically equipped,” he said.

“They are players who have played for more than 15 years and have more than 100 Tests. You can’t get a more experienced line up than this. It is important for the bowlers to also put their hands up.”

At the same time Kumble conceded that his team had been comprehensively outplayed in all departments and that plenty of work awaited them.

“We need to work all three departments of the game,” said Kumble. “We dropped a few catches. Zaheer got a wicket off a no-ball. We had to bowl well and also ensure we held the chances that came our way.”

While India played well below par, Sri Lanka certainly did all they could to win, and Kumble did not shy from giving them credit.

“They bowled exceptionally well. It was never going to be easy after they had 600 on the board,” he said.

“Avoiding the follow-on was always going to be tough. The wicket was not really helping spin but once you bat like we did in the first innings, it was going to be tough. It was an exceptional bowling performance from Mendis and Murali.”

Kumble re-emphasised that it was Murali who posed the biggest threat, and not Mendis, despite his eight wickets.

“We did not concentrate only on Mendis. I did mention before the match that Murali and Vaas are the important bowlers and nothing has changed,” said Kumble.

“It was only that we are asked more about Mendis in media conferences. Probably the focus was on him but we always knew Murali and Vaas were the ones. Murali is a champion bowler.”

When asked what needed to be done ahead of the next Test, Kumble said that it was not as though the team did not have its plans in place for this Test, adding, “We have come back well in the past and it is the same them that has brought some wonderful results. I am confident we will come back.

“When things don’t go our way people think there is no plan in place.

“It is the same process. Obviously we need to look at our strategy in handling Murali and Mendis. We have to be a little more positive.”