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Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas fumes about ‘6 straight ball dismissals’ vs India

India are trailing by 194 runs after bowling out Sri Lanka for 205 on Day 1 of the second Test being played at Nagpur.

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Nov 24, 2017 20:16 IST
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Hindustan Times, Nagpur
India vs Sri Lanka,Noc Pothas,IND v SL
India's Ravichandran Ashwin, second right, celebrates with teammates the dismissal of Sri Lanka's Lahiru Thirimanne, second left, during the first day of their second Test in Nagpur on Friday.(AP)

The Sri Lanka camp was lost for words to explain the batting failure on the opening day of the second Test against India on Friday. In good batting conditions, Sri Lanka lost wickets in a heap to crash to 205 all out after winning the toss. (Day 1 highlights | Scorecard)

The highest score was 57, made by captain Dinesh Chandimal while opener Dimuth Karunaratne also squandered a great start, dismissed for 51.

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The talking point of the day was the reckless manner in which Niroshan Dickwella got out, miscuing a lofted shot against Ravindra Jadeja. It triggered a collapse which Sri Lanka go from 160/4 to 205 all out.

Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas, however, refused to blame Dickwella’s dismissal for the team’s poor situation. “In hindsight that’s what the numbers tell you. We let ourselves (down) from that point onwards. You can’t say Niroshan Dickwella gets out and the rest can get out. Dick is a positive batter and that’s a shot he plays well. I don’t want to stop him being himself. I want people to bat the way they bat and he is a kind of player who transfers pressure back to the bowlers. Certainly not going to say because Dick got out others got out,” said the South African.

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Even captain Dinesh Chandimal came in for flak for throwing away his wicket to a reverse-sweep when well set. “The captain made a decision at that time; we empower the batsmen to make decisions in the middle. He felt that was the way to score runs at that point, (but it) didn’t come off. I’d probably say maybe the timing of that shot was perhaps not at its best. He is playing well and he is confident and we back our batsmen to be positive. You can’t be there forever and block it.”

However, Pothas was scathing in his assessment of his batsmen’s overall performance against the Indian spinners. “The wicket has got no demons. It hasn’t spun, it hasn’t seamed. There were six straight ball dismissals. Ashwin and Jadeja got wickets bowling stump to stump. At this level you can’t be missing straight balls.”

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He was reminded that Jadeja and Ashwin had made a big impact in the last series as well. “In the last series, the wickets spun. You are talking of the two top spinners of the world. It was a different kettle of fish. Here the wicket has not done anything. All that it has done is skid on a bit. The first day of a Test match what you have done on a wicket that has not done much is losing seven wickets to spin?

“It is a disappointed change room; the guys have set themselves high standards. In any process you are going to have those disappointments.”

First Published: Nov 24, 2017 20:12 IST