The innings and 239-run defeat that they suffered at the hands of Virat Kohli’s side was their heaviest in their Test history. In the last five Tests against India, Sri Lanka have lost three games by an innings margin, another by 304 runs and nearly lost the Kolkata Test, having been left with one and half sessions to save the game.
Why is that the batsmen are failing to produce runs in the middle?
It’s more to do with temperament and application. On the fourth day, you saw how many soft dismissals were there. I don’t think there is a problem with the work ethic. It’s got more to do with the mindset, application and temperament. In Test cricket, if you get 30-40 minutes of tough situations, you have to battle them out.
You finished with over 5000 Test runs. How did you work yourself out during tough situations?
The important thing is that they have to analyze, draw up plans and then find solutions. If they go through the next two years playing like this, they will remain the same. They have to change. I am not here to give them any sweet talk. They have to understand, improve and come up with different challenges. That’s what happened to me in 2005. I went through a bad patch. I was sent to the ‘A’ team. There I met Chandika Hathurusingha. He changed a few things in my batting. Then my mindset improved and I became a better batsman. Another point is that they can’t say that ‘this is my natural game.’ If it is so, then every other innings, you have got to produce 70-80 runs. You have to play to the situation and you have to play to the needs of the team.