Sri Lankan keeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella said at the end of the third day’s play that their batsmen’s plan to play the sweep against India's spinners worked well on Saturday.
Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis batted exceedingly well as Sri Lanka ended the day on 209 for two after being made to follow-on. "We weren't good in the first session. We had plans before the second innings started, on how to handle spin and how to handle pressure, how to play the new ball, etc. It was a long meeting during the lunch break and we executed those plans very well," Dickwella said at the post-match press conference.
Bowled out for 183 in the first innings, Mendis made 110 off 135 balls while opener Karunaratne was batting on 92. "We didn't handle the situation properly early on. We should have settled down a bit, but we didn't. We could have settled down like in the evening session. We were more positive after lunch. I played my normal game," said Dickwella.
"I swept about 80 percent of my shots. We were training hard on sweeps and reverse sweeps. Hashan Tillakaratne and other coaches are specifically speaking about the sweep shots and encouraging us to do that. We are improving with the sweeps," he added.
On what changed after follow-on, he added, "The wicket has no issues. Our approach wasn't right in the first innings, but we had a chat before the second innings and it paid off. We had sweep shot as one of our options. We didn't want to sweep so early. After the first innings, we had a different approach and that paid off for us.”