We've got ourselves to blame: Kirsten

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/k/kirsten11.jpg' class='caption'> Indian coach Gary Kirsten on Friday blamed his batsmen for landing the team in a pressure cooker situation against Sri Lanka.

Updated: July 28, 2008 17:19 IST
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Indian coach Gary Kirsten on Friday minced no words in blaming his batsmen for landing the team in a pressure cooker situation resulted by their poor shot selection against Sri Lankan spinners at the SSC here.

"We've got ourselves to blame. We did not have correct shot selection, we lost four wickets in 15 overs that has brought us under pressure," Kirsten said as India were staring at the follow on after the third day's play in the first Test.

India were wrecked to 159 for 6 by Muttiah Muralitharan after Sri Lanka declared at 600 for 6 on a benign track.

The former South African opener called on his batsmen to put up a fight back by doing "something differently" with two full days to spare in the match.

"It's a tough battle and we need to understand that we need to do different things. It's a great team and we have some great batsmen and each one needs to think what he can do differently," he said.

Kirsten denied that Indians were bogged down by the mammoth target set by the hosts.

"We felt pretty confident. India is a great team and they need to play aggressively," he said.

Asked what was needed to be done as damage control, Kirsten said, "We have to play a bit aggressively. Things were going on well when we were playing aggressively in the recent past but the players have to understand what it takes in Tests and play accordingly".

"We need to have control on our side and some runs will be good. We are going to fight back," he added.

On Ajantha Mendis, he said, "Mendis is the new kid on the block and his deliveries are cryptic but Sachin (Tendulkar) played well, he had understanding of his deliveries."

Kirsten was particularly unhappy with the way India allowed Sri Lanka to post a mammoth total.

"I think we struck early but did not get the balls in the right areas later. We did not capitalise after getting them two down for 60 runs. They have dominated us in this Test. So we have lot of hard work to do", Kirsten said.

In reply to another query, the India coach said though the players had viewed the footages of Mendis, the spinner was perhaps tossing the bowl faster than the video suggested.

He said the team will fight hard to save the match.

Meanwhile, centurion Tillakratne Dilshan said Sri Lanka was looking to wrap up the Test.

He said the ball had begun to turn after lunch and it was difficult to play.

Dilshan said he was surprised by the way Dinesh Karthik played when there was about 10 overs to go for before the close of play.

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