Harbhajan Singh and Tillakaratne Dilshan may have been the stars of the day but the duo was more than gracious to acknowledge the real hero - the pitch.
“This is the kind of wicket Test cricket should be played on,” said Harbhajan, who claimed four for 107.
Sri Lanka, powered by Dilshan's 109 and an unbeaten 86 from Angelo Mathews, ended Day One of the third Test on a healthy 366 for eight.
“It was a very good track to bat and bowl on,” Harbhajan continued. “The seamers bowled in the right areas, there was a lot of bounce for the spinners and the fact that Sri Lanka got that many runs shows that it is still a good track to bat on.”
And this was happening on a Brabourne pitch that was hosting a Test after 36 years.
“It's unfortunate that there are not many grounds in India that have such sporting tracks,” he said.
Dilshan, who agreed with the analysis, said Sri Lanka would like at least 400 on the board. “Right now, it's very even for both sides. It is a challenging wicket to bat on and it had started to turn in the first session itself. Murali (Muttiah Muralitharan) enjoys turn and bounce and he will do the damage in the next couple of days.”
The right-handed opener took over the top spot last year against New Zealand, and has already proved his mettle up front. It was his second hundred in this series, after the 112 at Ahmedabad in the first Test. Though the India bowlers exploited the conditions well, according to Harbhajan, their efforts weren't good enough.
“We should have bowled better in the evening session,” he said. “And fielded better. We gave runs away too easily by trying to do too many things. It wasn't a day where, I can say, we put in all our energy. If we have to keep doing well, we have to gear up for these challenges,” he said.