PALLEKELE: Sri Lanka's bowling coach Chaminda Vaas today expressed satisfaction with the performance of spinners Malinda Pushpakumara and Lakshan Sandakan, who shared five wickets between them to restrict India to 329 for 6 at stumps on day one of the third Test.
India looked set for a score close to 400 after opting to bat but some fine bowling in the final two sessions by left-arm spinner Pushpakumara (3/40 in 18 overs) and chinaman Sandakan (2/84 in 25 overs) helped the hosts gain some foothold at the close of play. India lost three wickets each in the last two sessions.
"The bowlers came and bowled pretty well, especially the spinners. We kept them to 320 for the first day. I am really, really happy with the spinners. At the end, the way Vishwa Fernando bowled in the last two spells was also good," said Vaas at the press conference.
"The track is really good for batting. We saw in the first few hours how the ball was behaving, and how the batsmen were scoring runs. This is a typical Kandy wicket," he added.
The spinners did most of the restrictive work but Lankan pacers found their rhythm late in the day.
The hosts have been hit by a spate of injuries with their senior bowlers Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal unavailable.
Inexperienced Vishwa Fernando and Lahiru Kumara were called up in their absence.
"I am not happy with the way the fast bowlers bowled in the morning. They bowled here and there. These guys are inexperienced. Vishwa is playing his second game and Lahiru is bowling his sixth. They didn't bowl well. After lunch they came back strongly and bowled pretty well," said Vaas.
"Yes, we have good fast bowlers, but Sri Lanka Cricket needs to give some time to these fast bowlers. They haven't played much cricket. If you see the Indian fast bowlers they have played about 60 games. We need to be patient and we will be able to get the result from the fast bowlers.
"They need to play more. If you take pacers from any country, they start bowling well after they have played 20-25 Tests. We can't suddenly expect a lot from Vishwa and Lahiru.
But they need to practice and play a lot of games. With that match experience only they will develop," he added.