Dilshan upbeat despite defeat
Tillakaratne Dilshan has reserved judgement on whether England are the best team in the world and now has his sights set on Lord's.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 31/05/11 3:48pm
Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan has reserved judgement on whether England are the best team in the world and now has his sights set on fighting back at Lord's.
The tourists somehow head into the second Test behind in the three-match series after capitulating to 82 all out in just 24.4 overs on the final day at Cardiff.
The defeat puts England one step closer to claiming the coveted number one ranking - a position they have never previously held in the history of the game.
But, despite the defeat, Dilshan remains bullish about his side's chances in the remainder of the series.
"You can see that they have been playing very good cricket the last few years," he said.
"In the last six or seven months they have beaten Australia in Australia, and they have also beaten Australia here.
"But you can't say from this performance that they are the best team, and we will wait and see what happens in the next couple of matches."
The performances of key batsmen Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara have come under the spotlight after they arrived in England late due to Indian Premier League commitments.
However, Dilshan does not believe their recent Twenty20 outings affected their respective performances.
"Mahela and Sanga, they came here late but they are experienced players and we know they can adjust quickly to this format of the game, but unfortunately things went wrong," he said.
A few eyebrows had been raised when Sri Lanka elected to go with just six batsmen at the SWALEC Stadium, with wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene bumped up the order, but they had batted commendably in their first innings to make 400.
That knock made it all the more difficult for Dilshan to explain how his side crumbled so dramatically on a pitch that had proved to be good to bat on throughout the contest.
He said: "It's very difficult to explain, I can't believe we got out in just 25 overs with such a good batting line-up like we have. We lost the match because we batted really badly.
"We knew we would be batting for at least 45 or 50 overs. We knew looking forward in the morning that they would declare, everyone knew that after (Ian) Bell's hundred they would declare, but I cannot explain what happened.
"It was a very good wicket with a little bit of turn and a bit of bounce," he added.
"It was a very good track. In the last two days it was good for batting, but we didn't bat well, that was the main issue, but it was really good for Test cricket.
"It will be difficult to forget this Test match but we have to stick together as a team, do whatever we can outside of cricket to get together and forget about everything and try and go to Lord's on Friday in a positive mind."