The England and Sri Lanka squad, have both defended the condition of the pitch at Galle, where they are playing the first Test in their series.
The Galle groundsman, Jayananda Warnaweera, however, has been criticised for the excess turn in the pitch.
He was also officially warned by the International Cricket Council last August for excessive early turn, when Australia played on the same pitch.
Speaking exclusively to ESPNcricinfo, Warnaweera, said: “I’m happy with the pitch, it is has turned a bit but in my opinion neither England nor Sri Lanka batted very well on the second day. You shouldn’t produce dead Test pitches just to get scores of 600, that’s my motto.”
The compelling test match between the two nations, has seen the fall of 25 wickets in just two days worth of play.
However, Warnaweera, is pleased to have the most successful batsmen from both squads supporting the pitch they are playing on.
Sri Lanka Captain, Mahela Jayawardene, was the first person to defend the conditions at Galle, saying: “On day two we’ve probably had a bit more spin that we are used to but the last four weeks have been very hot so the wickets are unusually dry. But there are no demons in the wicket like for the Australia game where it was jumping from day one. There is adequate spin, but if you want to dig deep you can bat as well. It’s the challenge of Test cricket.”
England batsman, Ian Bell, who has been in a bad run of form recently, made a brilliant half century, and said that the wicket was actually not as bad as people are claiming it to be. “”To get bowled out for under 200 isn’t great on that wicket which is pretty good to be honest, there’s nothing to scare you. Obviously it’s starting to dry out a bit more now and it turned towards the back end of the day” he said.
Sri Lankan spinner, Rangana Herath and English spinner, Graeme Swann, found sharp turn from the surface during the first two days, as both bowlers troubled most batsmen early into their innings.
Heading into day four, England still require 229 runs to win the match, and their fans, will be hoping that the side does not succumb to yet another collapse, since they have paid increased ticket prices for the match. More importantly, they do not want to see England embarrassed once again, like they were when playing against Pakistan.