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Sangakkara lauds Murali, Mendis

Captain Kumar Sangakkara sympathised with Indian batsmen for the humiliation they received at the hands of Sri Lanka's dreadful spin combination.

cricket Updated: Jul 27, 2008 17:10 IST

Captain Kumar Sangakkara on Sunday sympathised with Indian batsmen for the humiliation they received at the hands of Sri Lanka's dreadful spin combination Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis in their first cricket Tests at the SSC.

Sangakkara felt it was indeed a difficult ask to be up against the duo, especially while chasing a mammoth target of 600.

"India were rightly disappointed after their batting in the first innings, but you have to give credit to Murali and Ajantha," Sangakkara said.

"As a batsman, I'd certainly not want to face them in these conditions replying to 600 for 6 declared," he was quoted as saying by the 'Sunday Times' in Colombo.

Indian batsmen were handed over an innings and 239-run defeat by Sri Lankans with a day to spare in the first Test on Saturday.

Sangakkara said the major credit goes to the old master Muralitharan for shaking the Indian batsmen.

"It showed why he is the world's best bowler with a masterful exhibition against the Indian top order."

But Sangakkara admitted Mendis' presence would be a great help to Muralitharan as he reduces pressure on the off-spinner while increasing it on the opposition batsmen.

"I'm sure Murali will enjoy having Ajantha around because it will help maintain pressure indeed it will increase the pressure on the batsmen," Sangakkara said.

"I think it must have been the first time since the early days of his career that the pre-match build-up has not focused on Murali. The excitement around Ajantha has been incredible", he added.

Ajantha will also benefit from Murali, the wicket-keeper batsmen said adding "it seems a perfect partnership and its fantastic news for Sri Lanka".

The Sri Lankan team, Sangakkara said, realised the importance of starting the India-Sri Lanka Test series strongly and it was really pleasing to see how well the team has responded to that challenge.

"The top order took responsibility with the bat, showing the necessary application required, and the bowlers, especially Murali and Ajantha, have been brilliant," he said.