(19th September 2012,Cricturf) : Winning captain Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardena answered and addressed media at the post match conference in Hambanthota last night. He explained his opinions on team's win, performance and the future concerns in front of media by answering the questions. Below are some key factors that came out during the session.
1) The question from ESPN representative on behalf of all the viewers; "Sri Lanka today managed to put up a perfect performance, do you think you are enough confident going forward with the rest of the tournament? It’s a big chance for Sri Lanka to win the tournament at home. What do you feel about it? "
Mahela : It was a tough game for us. On paper it probably looks like an easy match. But a team like Zimbabwe can be a surprise element. We were to bat first in that wicket where were also not very sure how the wicket was going to behave and what kind of a score we needed. We worked a bit conservative, but I think the guys batted really well with good partnerships. 180 was always a good score in that pitch and bowlers came and did the job for us. I am happy with it and this is what we wanted to kick-start the tournament. And yes, we are going to take one game at a time because I think that is the way for us to go in the tournament. Fans will expect and enjoy the enthusiasm but as a team we will make sure we take one game at a time with full concentration.
2) About Ajantha Mendis and the team's future vision :-
Mahela : I am quite happy with the way Ajantha bowled today. Even the Sri Lankan domestic tournament he came and bowled really well which was an indicator for us to see how match fit he was and how controlled he was and this was his first game after 8 or 9 months. He was quite happy but was bit nervous before the game but nevertheless he bowled really well after coming in. As a unit we have come to the tournament to go all the way. The team is balanced and talented but just need to focus and make sure everyone is heading in the right direction.
3) Mahela in reply to the question regarding sending Jeevan Mendis earlier :-
Mahela : We knew the off spinners overs were finished and we know Jeevan is a very good player for the spin and the leg spinner was on. We didn’t want Sanga to take risk as we know Sanga is a guy who would anchor the innings in that situation for us. So we wanted Jeevan to come in and play the spin which is good at and he did exactly the same by getting off to a good start and continued it which helped to Sanga to take less risk and build the partnership. He is a busy player, a good guy to have in the team because he bows well, fields well so a very good prospect for us.
4) One major question raised was the lack or spectators in the stands especially it been a T20 opener where home team was playing. Mahela expressed his views on the question in a very neutral manner too :-
Mahela : Well obviously it’s a week day and that is all I can say. It’s hard for working people to come but I hope we will have a great crowd on Saturday because it’s a big game and I hope we will get that support.
5) How did you find Dilshan Munaweera’s playing today and what are you plans for him on the upcoming matches?
Mahela : It’s tough for a young lad. A T20 World cup, the first game and his debut and I am sure he would have felt nervous but we thought with Zimbabwe that would be a good opportunity for him to get that feeling away. I thought he batted well, bit nervous and probably trying to do a bit too much but we will have a chat with him regarding the mistakes. But going forward he is an exciting prospect for us. He could get us to win couple of games with the natural way he bats. We will try and use him as I said we got a balanced squad. It will depend on the wickets, conditions and the opponents the combinations will change and will fit the 11 players accordingly.
6) The combinations of the team plays a big role in tournaments like this. Will Ajantha’s performance today have an impact on choosing the others for future matches and how is the competiton among bowlers?
Mahela : There is a healthy competition. Rangana is bowling really well and even Akila is doing brilliant. Since it was the first game and we were not sure about the pitch. That is the reason why we went on with an extra batsman so we can put up a big score on the board which was the game plan. But depending on the surface especially against South Africa we will change the combination with our options. We have that freedom more purely because we have 3 all rounders in our side. We will sit down, talk about the next game plan after going through couple of net sessions to see how the wicket is before making the call. But as said, there is healthy competition and a healthy headache for me to handle.
In our batting order we are always considering about the flexibility so we have that right and left hand combination.
7) Finally, Mahela also mentioned that Ajantha Mendis who left the feild early is doing good and nothing serious has taken place :-
Mahela : He left because he was feeling a bit stiff on his sides so we just wanted to make sure he goes back have some ice and rest. Nothing serious, he bowled his 4 overs and I don’t see why he should be on the field for the last few overs because its better he go back and get it checked up.
Apart from the above, Mahela also stated that Sri Lanka has to work on the running between wickets and the fielding to eliminate the careless mistakes that happened during the yesterday's game where Sri Lanka gave away 3 run outs.
Copyright © 2012 Cricturf | Yoshitha Kulatunga