SL vs Eng 1st Test: Sri Lanka batting coach Grant Flower is disappointed with the team’s batting performance on the opening day of the first Test against England and even went on to say that it was the “worst batting” he has seen.
Sri Lanka was bundled out on 135 runs by England, with Dom Bess taking five wickets in the first innings. Flower said “every single batsman should take the blame” for their dismal show in the first innings. “I can’t explain it. I’ve been with the team for a year. It’s the worst batting I’ve seen. It’s purely mental I think. I don’t have any reasons to explain that,” ESPN Cricinfo quoted Flower as saying.
“Every single batsman should take the blame. They’ve only got themselves to blame. One of the guys was unlucky – Dasun Shanaka – when it came off Jonny Bairstow’s ankle. But the rest just got themselves out. There was some decent bowling, but the pitch isn’t a minefield,” he added.
Reiterating that his side batted “terribly”, Flower said he will talk to players about the mental aspect instead of giving them technical advice.
“I can’t give much technical advice. I can only talk to them about the mental aspect, and ask them what they were thinking regarding their dismissals. I’ve only spoken to a few as well as the coach. I’m at a loss for words. I’ve never seen us bat that badly. Whether it was nerves or coming back from South Africa…,” he said.
“But they know these conditions so well, so they should have had a big advantage over England. But the England batsmen showed us this afternoon there’s nothing wrong with the pitch so far. It’s going to get worse, but today it played well and we batted terribly,” Flower added.
After England bowlers put on a stunning show to end Sri Lanka’s first innings on 135, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow displayed brilliant performance to give England the upper hand in the match. At stumps, England’s score reads 127/2, with Root (66) and Bairstow (47) at the crease, trailing Sri Lanka by eight runs.