Mahela Jayawardene said here on Wednesday that “Once you get to a stage, you realise how to pace your innings, how to attack and how to play on different surfaces.”
The former Sri Lankan captain said the side had arrived here with the definite goal of beating India in India in a Test series.
“We were disappointed to let India get away after the excellent start we had on the first day. But they did bat well: Rahul (Dravid) in particular and M.S. (Dhoni). We still knew the wicket was good and Dilshan batted superbly giving us the momentum. He took on the two spinners and we kept on going with the same momentum.
Thilan (Samaraweera) and I enjoyed a very good partnership and Angelo (Matthews) was probably a bit unfortunate. Prasanna (Jayawardene) hung around with me.
Asked to rate his innings here, Jayawardene replied, “For me any hundred is a hundred. Given the situation and playing against India in India this knock is high up among my efforts. But I have only played three Tests in India and this is my fourth. I had a couple of fifties here on the last tour. I was determined to get my first hundred here.”
Queried about the quality of Indian bowling, he said, “You probably should ask them. I wasn’t concentrating on that. It was very hot out there. It was important to concentrate very hard. We had to be patient, which we were today.”
On the chemistry between him and Prasanna Jayawardene during the unbeaten double century stand, he said, “We worked on a few things against different bowlers. He batted well today. He has the ability, but had not been applying himself. He’s got a lot of talent. He showed what he’s capable of today. It’s all about handling different situations and scoring in different areas and I thought Prasanna did that well today.”
He said the team-management would decide on the timing of a possible declaration on day four. “We will see how it goes. We set a few goals today and achieved them. We will do the same tomorrow.”
Dwelling on the nature of the surface, he said, “You nevDiler know. Things can happen on a fourth or a fifth day wicket. They (the Indians) are under pressure and that can create opportunities. We have handled the wicket pretty well.”
About India employing negative tactics, he said, “Teams use different tactics and you have to adjust accordingly.” Jayawardene said spin ace Muttiah Muralitharan had recovered from a minor stomach infection. “He’s fine. He was speaking a lot in the dressing room, which means he’s okay.”