Mahela stresses need to have UDRS


Rex Clementine

reporting from Galle

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene stressed the need to have Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) in place after the first Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan was marred by poor umpiring decisions. There were several decisions that went against Pakistan during the Galle Test match, which ended with a day to spare.

"I have always been a fan of UDRS. I have said it’s an opportunity for everyone to get the maximum amount of correct decisions. It might not be 100 percent technology, but if we can use it to get the maximum number of correct decisions, it will help the umpires as well," the Sri Lankan captain told journalists, on Monday.

The Test ended inside four days with Pakistan suffering a 209 run defeat. Jayawardene didn’t enforce the follow-on after Pakistan were bowled out for 100 runs in their first innings in reply to Sri Lanka’s 472 and he explained why.

"I had to think of many things. One was that our guys had already bowled 60 overs in the first innings. If I had enforced the follow-on, they would have had to bowl another three or four sessions. Whether I would get the same effort was questionable," he said.

"We had only played two and half days on that wicket, so it was better for our batsmen to bat again on a wicket easier to bat and thereby bat Pakistan out of the game and give our guys fresh opportunities. The bowlers obliged Sunday evening by picking up three wickets. We knew it was going to be a tough day and we had to think of a lot of things. The easiest thing to do was enforce the follow-on, but we had to think of a few things and all those things came into the equation," he added.

Jayawardene also said that he had seen much improvement in the side since the first Test against England earlier this year. "The batting looked much better. We had a good start. Dilshan went onto get a hundred. When he gets hundreds, he puts us in good positions, because he scores quickly. Kumar got us a big hundred. Paranavithana got a start and that’s another plus. We were struggling to get those starts going. I thought Suraj bowled much better in this game than he did against England, and he has got a lot of confidence. Then Kulasekara coming back into the side and showed what a quality bowler he is."

Jayawardene also said that left-arm seamer Chanaka Welagedara, who pulled out from the first Test squad with a sore shoulder has been ruled out of the series. "He has a tear on his shoulder. We are waiting for an expert to give us a feedback on whether he needs surgery or not. It’s very unfortunate for Chanaka, as he was bowling really well. Unfortunately, he has a muscle tear and he will be out of this series."

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