We lacked the killer instinct - coach Moody
AHMEDABAD, Sunday - Australian-born coach Tom Moody said that the Sri
Lanka team led by Marvan Atapattu lacked the killer instinct to finish
off India in the three-Test series which ended in a 2-0 win for the host
Reflecting on the series Moody said: "We were in very strong
positions in the final two Tests where we could have really hit home a
big advantage. We failed to do that."
"We really only played half the game in both these Tests. That is not
good enough if you want to win a Test match over five days. I don't
think we hit the advantage home. We didn't have that finishing killer
instinct to take ten wickets to make sure to bowl the opposition out,"
"It was the same when we batted. We found ourselves in a strong
position at Delhi on 2/170 and by the close of play we had lost that
Ideally from that position you want to be getting a 100-200 first
innings lead. It's never going to be easy to bat against two quality
spinners. We failed to adjust to them as well as we could have," Moody
"When you have a bowler like Murali in your side he can then bowl and
finish a Test match. We failed to have that finishing blow. The Indians
through patience, persistence and a good team effort overcame us in both
second and third Tests."
Moody said the team was hoping to break the ice in this series with a
win over India.
"But we haven't won here. The team needs to learn from these
experiences so that the next time they have opportunities like this
hopefully learn from past experiences and overcome them. There is no
question of ability. It is there. The next time we come here we'll be
stronger and better experienced," said Moody.
Despite the losses in the one-day series followed by the Test defeats
Moody said the morale of the team was still very high.
"This team needs to stay closely knitted together which it is at the
moment. That's one of the positives we've had out of this experience. We
faced some very difficult times during the one-day series and we've been
beaten 2-0 in the Test series," said Moody.
"We had India on the ropes in all three Test matches. If we were
thrashed in all three Tests it would have been quite a different story.
We have been caught napping twice or thrice which allowed India to come
back into the contest. The team spirits is high. If we can take this
experience forward we can become a better side in time to come."
Moody explained why the team is still jelling as a unit despite the
setbacks in India.
"Openness and communication are the two important keys. We were well
led by Marvan. He has a very open approach and the team has also adopted
that approach. If there are any issues the boys talk about it. It's not
brewing inside," said Moody.
"We share each others performance. We talk about what we've done well
and what we can do better.
After this Test match it will be no different. If we boil things up
and if you look to lie elsewhere, that's when you tend to have problems.
We certainly don't have that approach.
We have an open situation with management players. We learn from this
and hopefully be stronger. It's certainly the way I like to operate
because that s the only way to learn," he said.
Looking at the positives that emerged out of the series for Sri
Lanka, Moody had words of praise for opening bat Upul Tharanga and
leg-spinner Malinga Bandara.
"What we did see in this last Test match here was the birth of
another opener for Sri Lanka. Upul Tharanga's innings in the second
innings I thought was of very high quality," said Moody.
"He had a great temperament and technique in those conditions against
the new ball and against two very fine spin bowlers and a very fine new
ball bowler in Irfan Pathan. He's certainly one of the bright spots to
come out of the Test match."
On his Test debut 20-year-old Tharanga made 47 off 117 balls in the
Sri Lanka second innings after being dismissed for two in the first.
"Bandara bowled well throughout the series. He's shown a lot of
character. He is a fighter and a competitor. I thought he did a terrific
job considering that it was his first Test series for many years. He's
got a bright future," said Moody.
Bandara, who will turn 26 on December 31, took nine wickets in the
series at an average of 32.88. Prior to this series he had appeared in
just one Test match seven years ago against New Zealand and gone
Moody said that India will remain a tough side to beat at home as
long as they have the momentum going.
"They are in particular a different side away from what they are at
home. They are a force at home because they carry a huge amount of
momentum not only in the media but in the crowd," said Moody.
"That's why they have been and probably remain in time, a very
difficult team to play on their home soil. They played some good solid
Certainly the team looked like enjoying the cricket they are playing
which is important. Again, time will tell over a period of time where
Indian cricket goes."
Sri Lanka take wing to New Zealand on Tuesday for four one-day
internationals and then to Australia as the third team in the VB one-day
tri-series with South Africa.