Despite Sri Lanka becoming the only team to be whitewashed twice by a touring side from outside Asia, head coach Chandika Hathurusingha chose to reflect on the positives that came out of the series for the hosts while mentioning that England emerged the better side as a result of handling the pressure situations better.
“I thought it was a very closely fought series, especially the last two games. The difference between the two teams was very little. I thought England handled tough situations well. Ben Stokes was the difference in the last two games I thought when things were going our way. He was brilliant with the ball and on the field. He took the game away from us in both games. When we were 173 for one again England took the initiative away from us. Our fielding is another reason for us to come second best in this series,” the Sri Lanka coach said during the press conference on Monday (November 26).
While the first Test was an overwhelming loss by 211 runs for Sri Lanka, their margins of defeat in the next two games – by 57 runs and 42 runs – was a tremendous improvement. But their inability to capitalise during key moments and the lack of a three-figure score from the batsmen despite plenty of good starts made all the difference, pointed out Hathurusingha.
There were 11 fifty-plus scores from the Sri Lankan batsmen in the three Tests, same as the number England had managed. However, the visiting side had as many as four centurions which according to Hathurusingha was the chief among reasons for England emerging victorious, along with the toss factor with Sri Lanka having had to bat last in each of the Tests.
“I thought in these last two games, given our inexperienced attack due to the absence of Rangana [Herath], I thought we competed well. The big difference is three [four] hundreds they scored and no hundreds from us. The toss has got lot to do as well when you are playing on these types of wickets. But all in all, England played better.
“This is what we have got. Maturity comes with the continuous opportunities we give players. I am hoping that they learn quickly. On these kinds of surfaces it is tough for batsmen. Everyone who got a start got a decent score. Batting second and fourth is tough. Batting moving forward in conditions we will get, I am sure we will show more skill. This is the best batting unit we have,” said Hathurusingha, summing up the performance of the batsmen.Source : Cricbuzz