Inability to play spin is a major concern - Samaraweera | Sunday Observer

Inability to play spin is a major concern - Samaraweera

NAGPUR, Saturday – Sri Lanka’s batting coach Thilan Samaraweera didn’t paint a rosy picture of his team’s ability to tackle spin when he said that the batsmen faced a big challenge over the next three days against Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin who not so long ago were ranked the world’s number one and two bowlers.

“When you are behind against world’s number one and two bowlers you have to play your A game. That is the big challenge over the next three days with rough and uneven bounce coming into play,” said Samaraweera.

“This group in the last two years hasn’t batted well against spin, major concern for me. Traditionally we have been good players of spin bowling, but the last two years we have struggled and that’s one thing that I have observed a of lot of work for us to do in the future.”

On a first day batting pitch Sri Lanka were bundled out for 205 with spinners Ashwin and Jadeja taking seven wickets between them.

Samaraweera said that this was not the time for him to rectify things in the middle of a tour.

“I need about four to five months to identify things. After the Indian series we have two or three weeks before Bangladesh. Then we have the Independence Cup and then a two months break that’s the time to address the issue. I can’t give a time frame when we can rectify it.”

Samaraweera is one of the few Lankan batsmen to work hard to overcome the spin of Indians Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh.

“In 2005 I struggled with Anil and Harbhajan and before that I thought I was a good player of spin. But I worked hard from thereon and from 2006 onwards I improved a lot,” said Samaraweera.

Commenting on yesterday’s play Samaraweera said, “I thought we bowled very good areas but they batted well on a good pitch. Disappointing that we won the toss, classic pitch, no seam movement, no spin and we didn’t bat well to be honest. We had so many soft dismissals.

“Today India batted really well. When the field is up they will attack and when the field is spread they will grind. That’s the way to play spin bowling. Good Test cricket batting. They still managed to score over three runs an over and we can learn a lot. We struck our task, but we are behind the game.